The True way TO THE Tree of Life: OR, The Natural MAN DIRECTED UNTO CHRIST.

By Fran. Roberts D. D. Pastor of the Church of Christ at Wrington in the County of Somerset.

JOHN 14. 6. ‘IESVS saith unto him; I am the Way, The Truth, and the Life: No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’

ACT. 16. 30, 31. ‘—Sirs, What must I do to be saved? And they said; Believe on the LORD IESVS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved, and thine House.’

BERNARD. in Iubilo, &c. p. 1659. Antverp. 1616.

JESU, Decus Angelicum,
In auro d [...]sce Canticum,
In ore me [...] mirificum,
In Corde N [...]ctar Coelicum:
Desidero te millies.
Mi JESU, quando venies?
Me loetum quando facies?
Me de te quando suties?

LONDON, Printed by T. R. for Geo. Cal [...]ert, at the Golden Ball in [...]uck Lane, 1673.

THE Author's Epistolary Exhortation, AND Paternal Charge, UNTO HIS CHILDREN.

My Dear and beloved Children,

WHat the Apostle Paul some­times said with great af­fection touching Israel, his Brethren and kinsmen according to the flesh, that with like affection say I now touching You; My Hearts desire and [Page] Prayer to God for you all is, That you may be saved Rom. 11. 1.. O, that you might be so happy, as to hear that sweetest Sentence of Iesus Christ at the last day, directed unto you among the rest of his Elect Sheep at his right hand; Come ye blessed of my Fa­ther, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world Math. 25. 34.. And that you may be where Christ is (which is far the best of all) to behold his glory, and to be made conform to him in Celestial glory for evermoreJoh. 17. 24. Phil. 1. 23. & 3. 21..

But you had need deeply to consider, That there are very many, great, and dangerous impediments unto Sin­ners eternal Salvation; without re­moval whereof, the Salvation of poor Souls will be rendered not only diffi­cult, but utterly impossible. A few of these principal Hindrances I shall briefly mention unto you for your in­formation and instruction. That you may praise God for your deliverance from some of them: and pray to him for his effectual removal of all the rest in his due time.

[Page] Some grand Hindrances of poor Sinners Salvation are these, viz.

1. The State of Sin and misery, in which all Mankind is involved by Na­ture, through the Fall of Adam, the Common root of all MankindRom. 5. 12, &c. with Gen. 3., whence, All are, by Nature, dead in Sins and trespasses, and Children of wrath Eph. 2. 1, 2, 3.. so that, they who are in the flesh, cannot possibly please God Rom. 8. 8..

2. Man's general Senslessness and [...]in apprehensiveness by Nature, of the Sinfulness and wretchedness of his Natural condition. All Natural men being Children of the night and of darkness 1 Thes. 5. 5.. Having the under­standing darkned, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart Ephes. 4. 18.. And from this senslesness of their Na­tural malady, it comes to pass, that they are (till God open their eyes, and awaken their Consciences) altogether regardless of the Supernatural Re­medy.

3. A Sinful course of life and [Page] wicked Conversation, resulting from Mens Sinful state and condition. So that they walk according to the course of this world, according to the Prince of the power of the Air, the Spirit that now worketh in the Children of Disobedience.—fulfilling the wills of the flesh and of the mind Ephes. 2. 2, 3..—and running to all excess of riot 1 Pet. 4. 4.. Now these, and like ungodly waies will (without true and timely Repentance) undoub­tedly shut, all that walk therein, out of the kingdom of God for evermore1 Cor. 6. 9, 10..

4. Habitual Hardness of heart and Impenitency,Gal. 5. 19, 20, 21. Rev. 21. 8. 27. & 22. 15. which are most dange­rous fore-runners of Eternal Death and DestructionEzek. 18. 30, 31, 32.: whereby all hardned and impenitent Sinners do treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath, Luke 13. 3. 5. and Re­ve [...]tion of the righteous Judg­ment of God Rom▪ 2. 5, 6, &c..

5. That grand Soul-damning Sin of Vnbelief in Iesus Christ. Of this the Holy Ghost peculiarly and princi­pally convincingly reproves the world; of Sin, because they believe not in [Page] me, saith our SaviourJoh. 16. 8, 9.. This Sin he puts before others, saith Augu­stine, as if it were the alone Sin: because this Sin remaining, the rest are detained; and this departing, the rest are remitted Hoc enim peccatum, quasi solum [...]it, prae caete­ris posuit: quia hoc ma­nente caetera detinentur, & hoc disce­dente—cae­tera remit­tuntur. Aug. in Ioan. 16. Tract. 95. Tom. 9.. Vnbelief rejects Iesus Christ the onely Saviour: How then is it possible the Vnbelievers should be saved? Our Blessed Saviour himself hath declared most plainly; That, he that believes not shall be damned, Math. 16. 6. yea, That he is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the onely begotten Son of God.— That, he who believeth not the Son should not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. Iohn 3. 18. 36. & 8. And he placeth the Unbelie­ving in that black Catalogue, which shall have their part in the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the se­cond Death. Rev. 21. 8.

6. The Embracing of any False counterfeit and irreligious Religions, whether through Corrupt Education and evil Example of Parents1 Cor. 12. 2., or through Seducement of heretical Impostors [Page] and false Teachers1 John 2. 26., or through the just judgment of God,Pet. 2. 1, 2, 3. 1 Tim. 4. 1, 2, 3. Math. 25. 24. up­on them that receive not the Love of the Truth that they may be sa­ved, sending them strong delusions, that they should believe a lye, that they all may be damned who be­lieve not the Truth 2 Thes. 2. 10, 11, 12.. And chiefly such false Counterfeit Religions, which are most predominant and bear grea­test sway in the world, are these Four: viz. Heathenism, Mahume [...]ism, Ju­daism, and Antichristianism. By the poyson of which, it is much to be feared, far the greatest number of people in the whole world are deprived of Salvation, and perish. As divers of our Learned, Orthodox, and Re­ligious AuthorsBishop Andrews, in his Preface be­fore his Expos. of the X. Command [...]ments, p. 40, &c. Bishop Hall, in his Serious Disswasive from Popery, in fol. p. 613. to 624. And in his, No peace with Rome. p. 633. to p. 664. Dr. Wil­let's Synopsis of Pop [...]ry; throughout. See his First Table, shewing how Popery militates against the Person, and all the Offices of Christ. Dr. Whitaker's also is to the like effect. In Praefat. ad Auditores, ante Disput. de S. Seriptura. p. 258, 259. Mr. W. Perkins, in his Demonstration of the P [...]obleme; through­out. p. 486, &c. Vol. 2. And in his Assertion, That a Papist by his Religion cannot go beyond a Reprobate. p. [...]96, to p. 404. Vol. 1. Lond. 1626. And in his Reformed Catholick. p. 556, &c. Vol. 1. have demonstrated.

[Page] 7. The False Hypocritical and Con­terfeit Entertaining of the onely true Religion, viz. The Christian Religion, leaves men still in a state of Damna­tion, though thereupon multitudes vainly presume and promise to them­selves eternal Salvation. As, when men make a Profession of Christia­nity, without a sincere suitable Pra­ctice Mat. 7. 21, &c. & 25. 3. Tit. 1. 16.: having Lamps, without Oyle. When they have onely a form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof 2 Tim. 3. 5.. Having a Name to live, but are dead Rev. 3. 1.. When they attain to a Temporary Faith, belie­ving for a time, but in time of Per­secution falling away: Become par­takers of many Common gifts and en dowments of the Holy Ghost, but of no true saving Graces of the Spirit: So that though they may have some flashes of joy in the use of Gods Or­dinances, and may do many things, yet walk not, as the sincere Saints, in all the Commandements and Ordi­nances of God blameless Luk. 8. 13.. Now such Persons,Mat. 13. 19, to 23. Heb. 6. 4, 5, 6. 2 Pet. 2. 20, 21, 22. Mark 6. 2 0. Luke 1. 6. being meer Formal, not real Christians indeed, remaining [...]as [Page] most in the visible Church do) without effectual Calling, Conversion, Regene­ration, and true Sanctification, can­not inherit the kingdom of God, as the Holy Scriptures do abundantly te­stifie Math. 13. 19, to 23. & 7. 13, 14 with Rom. 8. 30. Joh. 3. 3, 5. Math. 18. 3. Heb. 12. 14..

Now therefore, my beloved Chil­dren, I earnestly exhort, charge and beseech you, by the mercies of God, As you tender the eternal welfare of your precious and immortal Souls, As you desire to be found in Iesus Christ, and favour with God when you die, and As ever you hope to be set at Christs Right hand among his Sheep, and to be Sentenced by Christ with them to his Everlasting Kingdom at that great and glorious day of his Appearing: That you use all possible Care, diligence, and endeavours, by the Grace and assistance of the Holy Spirit of God, against all these fore-mentioned impe­diments unto Salvation, and all such like, that they may be removed out of your way to happiness, and not be any hindrances at all to your Eternal Glo­ry and Salvation. And that this may be the more effectually enterprized [Page] and performed by you, Let these En­suing Instructions sink deep into your hearts, and be most studiously, seri­ously and sincerely pursued and pra­cticed in your Lives. viz.

1. Be deeply and thoroughly Con­vinced of the extream Sinfulness and wretchedness of your Natural State and Condition in the first AdamRom. 5. 12.. How you were shapen in iniquity, and conceived in Sin Psal. 51. 5. Joh. 3. 6.. Yea, dead in Sins and trespasses, and by Nature Children of Wrath, even as o­thers Ep [...]. 2. 1, 2, 3.. And, How from this Ori­ginal and Vniversal Corruption of your Natures, your whole course of life is answerably corrupted also: Every imagination of the thoughts of your hearts (and consequently, every word of your mouths, and every Action throughout your lives) being Evil, onely evil, continually evil, so long as you continue in your Natural state and conditionGen. 6. 5.. So then, while you remain in the flesh, you cannot please God Rom. 8. 8.: nor can have an [...] actual Hope of SalvationEphes. 2. 12., upon any solid ground.

[Page] 2. Hence, you may evidently See, and must needs conclude; That there is so great a necessity of a Supernatu­ral Remedy, against this your Natu­ral State of Sin and Misery, and a­gainst all the Sinfulness of your Natu­ral Conversation, by the Application of Jesus Christ unto your Souls, and the Effectual operation of his Spirit to that End upon your hearts: That without such applying of Christ by Faith unto youJoh. 8. 24. & 3. 16. 18. 36. 1 Joh. 5. 12. Mar. 16. 16., and the operation of his Spirit in and upon you, by Ef­fectual Calling, Conversion, Rege­neration, Renovation and Sanctifi­cation, you can never Enter into the kingdom of God, and be Eternally SavedRom. 8. 30. Math. 18. 3. Joh. 3. 3. 5. Tit. 3. 4, 5, 6, 7..

3. Therefore, See that ye come unto Jesus Christ by Faith without delayHeb. 12. 14., and Receive him as your onely All-sufficient Saviour, that is able to save you to the uttermost Math. 11. 28, 29, 30. Act. 16. 30. & 4. 11, 12. Heb. 7. 25.; Ac­cepting him upon his own terms of de­nying your selves, taking up your Cross daily, and following him Luk. 9. 23.. So Iesus Christ will be unto you, Wis­dom, to guide you in the way to Hea­ven; [Page] Righteousness, to wash away all your Sins by his bloud, and justifie you freely by his spotless Righteousness imputed unto you; Sanctification, to furnish you sufficiently with all trea­sures of Grace out of his fullness of Grace; and Redemption, to deliver you from all your bondage under Sin, Satan, the curse of the Law, the Wrath to come, and all your Spiritual Ene­mies 1 Cor. 1. 30.. O, thrice happy, Everla­stingly happy shall you be, if once Iesus Christ become yours, and you his! Then you shall be espoused to the best Husband in the world2 Cor. 11. 2.; The God and Father of Iesus Christ will be your God and Father Joh. 20. 17.; The Spi­rit of Christ will be your Com [...]or­ter Joh. 14. 16, 17.; the Kingdom of Heaven shall be your Everlasting Joynture Math. 25. 34.; yea All things, The World, and Life, and Death, and things present, and things to come, All shall be yours 1 Cor. 3. 21, 22, 23. Then, All things shall work-together for good unto you; Sickness as well as health, Adversity as well as prosperity, Death it self as well as lifeRom. 8. 28.. Then, nothing in the world shall ever be able [Page] to separate you from the Love of Christ, or from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord Rom. 8. 35. to the end.. Then, no Condemnation shall ever befall you in this or in the world to comeRom. 8. 1.. O happy Souls that ever you were born, if you be born again, and Christ be formed in you! Christ is the Desire of all Nations Hag. 2. 7.: Let him be the Desire of your Souls. Christ is the chief among ten thou­sand Cant. 5. 10.: L [...]t him be the Chief of your choice. Christs mouth is Sweet­nesses, yea all of him is Desires Cant. 5. 16.: O let your hearts be even ravished with him at all times. Say with that faithful Minister and Martyr of Ie­sus Christ, Mr. John Lambert, as he was now dying in the flames; None but Christ, none but Christ Acts & Man. Vol. 2. p. 427. Lond. 1641.. In a word, I say to every one of you, as sometimes Bernard said unto one sweetly; Let IESVS be alwaies in thine heart.—Let Him be unto thee thy meat and drink, thy sweetness and Consolation, thy Ho­ny and thy Desire, thy Reading and thy Meditation, thy Prayer and thy [Page] Contemplation, thy Life and Death, and thy Resurrection Bernard. Ex for. bo. vi­tae, ut citatur in ejus Flori­bus. p. 2137.. For, Christ is All in All Col. 3. 11..

4. Now, Forasmuch as true saving Faith in Iesus Christ is not of our selves, but the free gift of God Eph. 2. 8.; and ordinarily God is pleased to work it in the hearts of his Elect, Instru­mentally, by the Hearing of his Word faithfully preachedRom. 10. 14, 15. 17., Effi­caciously, by the Co-operation of his holy Spirit Gal. 5. 22.; by which Means also it is nourished and increased: There­fore, be ye all of you Diligent and Con­stant Hearers of the Word of Christ faithfully preached, Applying things spoken particularly to your selves, trea­suring them up in good and honest hearts, and bringing forth the suita­ble fruit thereof by an Vpright pra­ctice in your livesJam. 1. 19. to 26. Math. 13. 23. & 7. 24 to the end.; and take sin­gular heed, that you never g [...]ieve, quench, or resist the operations, stir­rings or motions of the Spirit of God in the use of his Word and Ordi­nances, or at any other timesEph. 4. 30. Thes. 5. 19, 20. 1 Act. 7. 51.. For Iesus Christ, by his Word and Spi­rit especially, stands at the door of [Page] your hearts and knocks, and if any will open unto him, he will come in unto him, and Sup with him and he with Christ Rev. 3. 20..

5. For the increasing also of your Inward Peace, Spiritual Ioy and Com­fort, Give all di [...]igence to make your Calling and Election sure 2 Pet. 1. 10.; Examining your selves frequently and seriously, whether Jesus Christ be in you yea or no2 Cor. 13. 5.. But how shal [...] this be done? By comparing your Hearts, Lives and Experiences with the written Word of God, through the assistance and guidance of Gods Holy Spirit. For, to this End the Word of God was written to us, and the Spirit of God is given to us, that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God 1 Cor. 2. 12. Rom. 8. 16., and that we may know that we have eternal life 1 Joh. 5. 13.. And for your more ready help in this weighty business, you may make use of many Characters, marks, or Notes of Tryal, which I have at large laid down in sundry of my Prin­ted BooksAs my, Believers Evidences, &c. Communi­cant Instru­cted. and Treatise of Gods Cove­nants, &c., which you have by you. Take heed you be not strangers to your [Page] own hearts, and Spiritual States.

6. As you have received Jesus Christ the Lord, so walk in him: rooted, and built up in him, and e­stablished in the Faith Col. 2. 6, [...]. Be not Christians only in Name and out­ward Shew, but inwardly, sincerely, and in good earnest. So live and walk, as Christ in his word hath di­rected you to walk. Denying ungod­liness and worldly lusts [even all Sins against the first and second Ta­ble,] living soberly [towards your­selves], righteously [towards man], and godly [towards the Lord], in this present world Tit. 2. 11, 12.. Observe and keep all his Commandements Joh. 14. 15. and 15. 13. Math. 28. 19.. Yield and present your selves, both Souls and Bodies living Sacrifices unto him Rom. 12. [...]. Whether you live, live unto the Lord; or whether you dye, dye unto the Lord; that whether you live or dye, you may be the LordsRom. 14. 7▪ 8.. So live and walk also as Christ hath given you an Ex­ample. Walk as Christ walked 1 Joh. 2. 6.. Walk in love, as Christ hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, [Page] a Sacrifice, an offering unto God, for a sweet smelling Savour Eph. 5. 2.. Walk in Love towards Iesus Christ, as to love him beyond Father, Mo­ther, Sister, Brother, or your own dearest lives Mat. 10. 37. Luke 14. 26: For, he hath loved us, and washed us from our Sins in his own bloodRev. 1. 5. Walk in all well doing as Christ went about, do­ing good every where Act. 10. 38.: and imitate him also in innocent and pa­tient suffering for well doing, com­mit [...]ing your selves and your Cause to him that judgeth righteously 1 Pet. 2. 21, 22, 23.; for herein he hath left us an Exam­ple that we should follow his steps.

7. Remember the Lords-day-Sab­bath, the first day of the week, (unto which the seventh-day-Sabbath was translated by the Authority of Christ as appears by the after observa­tion of that day by the Apostles and Apostolical Churches,) to keep it holy Exod. 20. Act. 20. 7. [...]8. 1 Cor. 16. 1. 2. Rev. 1. 10.. This is the Princess and Queen of all dayes [...]. Ignat. in Ep. ad Magnes., This is the Glory of all the week. For, As on this day our blessed Saviour Rose from the [Page] deadMath. 28. [...]. to 8. triumphing victoriously over Death, Grave, Sin, and all our Spi­ritual Enemies: and thereby assured us of our Spiritual and Corporeal Re­surrection by himEph. 2. 5, 6. 1 Cor. 15. 20. to 24.. As on this day our Saviour vouchsafed many of his apparitions to his Disciples, in­structing them and giving them com­mandements concerning the King­dom of GodLuke 24. Ma [...]k. 16. Math. 28. Act. 1. 3.. On this day the Holy Ghost was most miraculously poured forth upon the ApostlesAct. 2. 1. &c.. On this day the Apostles and primitive Churches held their solemn As­semblies for the publick worship of GodAct. 20. 7▪ &c.. This is the solemn Mart, and Market day for furnishing our Souls with all manner of Spiritual and Heavenly Provisions. This is that Solemn Season and sweet oppor­tunity which Christ hath afforded and ordained for acquainting us with Himself and the Mysteries of his King­dom, for maintaining our Communi­on with him in his Ordinances, for edifying and perfecting of us in all Spirituals. And as in the time of the Old Testament, The Sacrifices of the [Page] Sabbath-day were to be double to those on the week dayNumb. 28. 9, 10.: So our Spi­ritual Sacrifices on the Lords-days are to be twice so much as on any other day of the week; Especially, in Pray­er and thanksgiving; in Reading the Scriptures, in Hearing the word preached, in Partaking the Lords Supper, in Catechizing, in Shewing Mercy to the poor, &c. that so the sa­cred tincture and impressions of this day may remain fresh and lively upon your hearts all the week following.

8. Let every day of the week be managed by you in a Christian sort. To that End, Be sure to present unto the Lord your Morning and Eve­ning-Sacrifice of prayer and praise to God continually: as God of Old appointed a Morning and Evening Sacrifice for every day in the week Numb. 28. 3. to 9.. Holy David and Daniel Pray­ed thrice in a day Psal. 55. 17. Dan. 6. 10.. Every day, o­pen with God in the morning, and shut with God in the Evening, by some religious ejaculation or sa­vourly meditation. Read daily some portion of Holy Scripture Psal. [...]. 1, 2. Act. 17. 11., to [Page] keep up your acquaintance with God, with Iesus Christ, and his Spirit, and the mysteries of true Religion. And then follow the lawful affairs of your honest particular Calling, diligent­ly and righteously1 Cor. 7. 20. 24.

9. Do ye Remember your Crea­tor in the days of your youth, Eph. 4. 28. while the evil dayes [of old age] come not, Thes. 3. 10, 11, 12. nor the years draw nigh, when ye shall say, we have no pleasure in them Eccl. 12. 1.. Gods Eminent Saints have sought the Lord betimes, and ad­dicted themselves unto Godliness while they were young. As, David, that man after Gods own heart, while he was but a Youth I Sam. 16▪ 33. to 38.. Josiah, that Phaenix. King of Iudah, while he was yet young, but sixteen years old, be­gan to seek after the God of Da­vid 2 Chron. 34. 1. 3.. And Timothy, so high­ly commended by the Apostle Paul, knew the Holy Scriptures from a Child, Gr. from his insan­cy 2 Tim. 3. 15.. God, in the time of the Law, called for the first ripe fruits of the field, and the firstlings of the flock, to be offered unto himNumb. 15. 20, 21. and 18. 12, 13. Deut. 18. 4. & 15. 19.: to teach his [Page] people, how acceptable the first-fruits of our youth and life are to God. O how happy are they, that bear the yoke Mat. 11. 29. of Christ in their youth! Hereby, the flower of their age is best improved! Hereby, thousands and ten-thousands of sins are prevented. Hereby, they gain the longer time, for walking with God, for growing in grace, for doing of good, for increasing of Spiritual Ex­periences, for treasuring up of Evi­dences and assurances of their Sal­vation, and of preparing them­selves for Heaven and eternal Glory.

10. Herein alwaies exercise your selves to have a Conscience void of offence both towards God and Man Act. 24. 26.. That so living in all good conscience before God Act 23. 1., This may be matter of singular comfort and rejoycing to you, in your grea­test afflictions and distresses, the Te­stimony of your Consciences, that in simplicity and godly sincerity you have had your Conversation in the world 2 Cor. 1. 12..

11. Imploy and improve to the ut­most all the Times and Talents, where­with [Page] the Lord hath intrusted you, to his Glory, your own or others Bene­fit. That when the time of reckon­ing shall come, he may both command you and richly reward you, and not condemn and punish you with that wicked sloathful and improfitable Servant Eph. 5. 15, 16..

12. Hold fast the Platt-form of Sound wordsMat. 25. 14 to 31., in Faith and Love, which is in Christ Jesus 2 Tim. 1. 13.. That so you may not be carryed aside with every wind of false doctrine Eph. 4. 14.; but may be the Children of the Truth. And to this End constantly retain in your Memories the Catechisme wherein you have been trayned up now a long time together. For, this is an excellent Brevial or Sum of the true Christian Religion, very useful to direct you both in the Faith and Practice, in the right wayes of God, against error and iniquity.

13. Stand not at a stay, much less go backward, in the affairs of Religion: But still grown in Grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ 2 Pet. 3. 18.. Take heed of backsli­ding [Page] Heb. 12. 13. 15.. Having put your hand to Christs plow, Look not backPro. 14. 14.: For then you will be unfit for the King­dome of God Luk. 9. 62.. Be stedfast, unmoveable, alwayes abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord Cor. 15. 58.. Be faithful to the death, and christ will give you a Crown of Life Rev. 2. 10..

14. Love God, Father, son and Holy Ghost, over all, with all your Heart, Soul, Mind and might Mat. 22. 37, 38., and that especially for his own sake love such as are begotten of GodL [...]k. 10. 27., and true Christians indeed, chiefly for Gods sake, for Christs sakeI Joh. 5. 1.. And see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently 1 Pet. 1. 22.: Especial­ly, endeavouring to help and further one another in the way to heaven.

15. Finally, Set your affection on things above, not on things on the Earth: For all the things on Earth are meerCol. 3. 2. vanity and vexation of Spirit Eccl. 1. 2. 14., being vanity, they are empty shadows and bubles, that cannot continue, that cannot satisfie, but ut­terly [Page] disappoint you: By their disap­pointment, they become vexation of Spirit, heaps of thorns and briars un­to you. But your true, lasting and Soul-satisfying Treasures are above; there's your Crown, your Kingdom, your Glory, your Eternal life, your Eternal inheritance, your Masters joy and pleasures at his right hand for Evermore; there's your sweetest and most glorious Saviour Jesus Christ at Gods right hand, and there's your God in Christ, in whose immediate vision and compleat fruition the su­pream happiness of Heaven will con­sist for ever. Have therefore your Conversation in Heaven Phil. [...] 3. 2o, 21., though for a while your conversation be on Earth: and look for your Saviour Jesus Christ from Heaven, to change your vile bodies and make them like to his own glorious body. Then there shall be no more Sin, Sorrow, Pain, Curse or Death. Then Christ will wipe all your Tears away Rev. 21. 1. 4.. Then your everlasting Jubilee will b [...]gin but shall never end. O how should we love his appearing, when all those [Page] things shall come to pass! Make haste O beloved, and be as the Hind or the Roe upon the Mountains of Spices Cant. 8.. Even so come Lord JesusRev. 22. 2o..

These things, my beloved Children, I have earnestly desired to recommend unto you in order to your Eternal Sal­vation; hoping that some of you have a true Spiritual sense and relish of them already. Now the God of all Grace imprint them indelibly upon the Tables of all your Hearts, that you may still remember them and conform your selves unto them, not onely while I am with you in this land of the living, but also after I shall be taken from you by Natures dissolution, and sleep in Jesus. And let him bless you with all Spiritual blessings in heavenly-places in Christ Eph. 1. 3. for e­vermore. Amen.


A Premonition to the Natural Man reading the ensuing Directions.

WHoever thou art, that unto this present hour remainest still in thy Natural State in the Old Adam, unconverted unto God in CHRIST the last Adam; or justly suspectest thy condition to be such; and perusest these DIRECTIONS following: Read and understand, Vnderstand and [Page 2] Consider in thine Heart, Consider and Believe the Scripture Truths therein propounded, Believe and put in Practise the Scripture Rules therein recommended unto thee; lest otherwise, what thou readest and art convinc'd in Conscience to be thy Duty, hereafter sting thine Heart, Rise up in judgment against thee, and condemn thee, both when thy Death Approacheth; and at the Great day, when the Lord IESVS shall be revealed from Heaven with the Angels of his power, in flaming Fire taking Vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord IESVS CHRIST 2 Thes. 1. 7, 8. with Mat. 11. 20. to 25. and 12. 41, 42.

Directions, tending to conduct the Natural Man to CHRIST.

I. Direction.

A Waken and rouz up thy Soul and Conscience, O Sinful wret­ched natural Man, seriously to consider and deeply to lay to heart, How Sinful and miserable, the State and Con­dition of all Mankind since the fall, and of thine own Soul in particular, is, by Nature in the first Adam. compare together Rom. 3. 9. to 21. 1 Cor. 2. 14. Rom. 8. 5, 6, 7, 8. Tit. 3. 3. and 1. 15, 16. Eph. 2. 1, 2, 3.

1. The Sinfulness of Natural man's State; what Words can enough ex­press! what thoughts of Man can suf­ficiently conceive! who can understand his Errors? Psal. 19. 12. The heart is [...]eeitful above all things, and desperately w [...]ked, who can know it? I the LORD search the heart; I try the Reins. Jer. 17. 9, 10. God alone, who cannot sin▪ e [...]actly knows man's Sinfulness. From his word take a brief discovery of it.

The Sinfulness of the Natural man's condition, Consists chiefly in these particulars. viz.

[Page 4] 1. In the guilt of Adam's first Sin, Of Ea­ting the forbidden fruit, contrary to Gods express Command, Gen. 2. 16, 17. with Gen. 3. 6, 7. Rom. 3. 9. 19. In which Eating; Adam's 1 Unbelief of Gods word; 2 Contempt of Gods com­mand; 3 Impious Consent of his most free-will; 4 Proud aspiring to be as Gods knowing good and evil, Gen. 3. 5. 5 A­postacy from God; 6 Disobedience of the whole man; and 7 Ruine of him­self and all his posterity; are compre­hended Trelent. Just Theol. [...]. 3. de Peccato. This sin of Adam, being the Common Parent and Root of all mankind, (as St. Augustine —In quo omnes peccaverunt. Rom. 5. 12. well notes) then virtually and seminally in his loyns, is imputed to and charged up­on all his ordinary posterity, even up­on all mankind ordinarily propagated form himQuia secun­dum propagi­nem carius in illo [...]ramus om­nes, antequam nati essemus, tanquam in pa­rente, [...]anq [...]am in radice ibi e­ramus: Sic ve­nena [...]a [...]st ista arbor, ubi era­mus Aug. de verb. Apost. Serm. 14▪ p. 325. B C. Tom. 10., Rom 5. 12.—15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Act 17 26. [...] Cor. 15. 21. 22. 45. 49. As Levi, who received Tithes is said to [...]ay Tithes in Abraham to Melchizedeck, for that yet he was in the loyns of his Fa­ther Abraham when Melchizedeck met him. Heb. 7. 9, 10. So then in Adams eating the forbidden fruit, all mankind did eat the forbidden fruit; In Adam's Sinning, all his posterity Sinned; In Adam's disobeying, all mankind diso­beyed; In Adam's falling, all his po­st [...]rity sell; In Adams dying, all his [Page 5] Posterity dyed. And thou amongst the rest. And Therefore, in this Sense, thou wast a Sinner, algrievous Sinner before thou wast born, even from the foundation of the world.

O thou Natural man! Think of this, Lay this to Heart deeply, was it a small matter for Adam, and for thee and all Mankind in Adam, thus to Sin. Consider well the many and great Ag­grevations of this first Sin of Man; As 1. The Person who sinned: 2. Condition and State, wherein: 3. Place, where: 4. Time, when: 5. Law, against which: 6. Object, against whom: 7. And final­ly, The manifold and great Evils both of Sin and punishment ensuing thereupon; (all which I have elsewhereIn my Treat [...] of Gods Convenants. Book. 2. Chap. 1 Aphor. 6. IV. p. 41. to p. 59. at large il­lustrated,) and then see, if ever Sin was perpetrated in this world, (all things duly considered,) so Sinful, Haynous, Horrid, inexcusable, and damna­ble, as this first Sin!

2. In being wholly overwhelmed with Original Sin, (so as is thought, it's cal­led by—Ex A­dam tra [...]i dici­mus Originale Peccatum, quod per lavacrum Regenerationis, non solùm in majoribus, sed etiam in parvulis solvi­tur. August. Retract. 1. 2. cap. 62. p. 60. B. Basil. 1569. Tom 1. Ecce unde tra [...]itur originale peccatum, Ecce unde nemo nascitur sine peccato, Ecce propter quod Dominus sic Concipi voluit, quem virgo Concepit. Aug. de Temp. Serm. 45. p. 667. l. 7. m. 10. Augustin) contracted from lapsed Adam by Natural Propagation, Gen. 5. 3. Psal. 51. 5. Ioh. 3. 6. Iob. 14. 4. and 15. 14.

[Page 6] This Original Sin Consists especially [...]. In the privation or loss (1) of Man's Primitive Integrity or Original Righ­teousness concreated with him Gen. 1. 26, 27. and 3. 6, 7, 8. Eccles. 7. 29.— All have sinned, and come short of the glo­ry of God, Rom. 3. 23. (2) and of that sweet communion, which, [...] in that in­tegrity, he enjoyed with God, Gen. 3. 6, 7, 8, 10. Whereupon man becomes Dead in Sin, Ephes. 2. 1. 5. with Gen. 2. 16, 17. 2. In the Depravation, Pollu­tion and Corruption of his whole na­ture: His whole Soul and all the fa­culties thereof; His whole Body and all the Parts thereof, being universally de­filed. —to them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure, but even their Mind and Conscience is defiled, Tit. 1. 15. See Gen. 6. 5. Ier. 17. 9. Rom. 3. 10. to 19. 2 Pet. 2. 14.

Hence, From both these ensue two woful effects. 1. An Indisposition, and utter inability, yea an Opposition and Enmity, unto all Good. Rom. 5. 6. and 7. 18. and 8. 8. Col. 1. 21. Rom. 8. 7. and 5. 10. 2. An Universal pronity, Propensity or Proclivity unto all Evil. Gen. 6. 5. and 8. 21. Rom. 3. 10, 11, 12. 1 Pet. 4. 2, 3, 4. Original Sin, being the Root, Seed and Common Spawn of all Actual Sin in the World Iam. 1. 14, 15. Ephes. 2. 1, 2, 3.

[Page 7] The Holy Scriptures set forth this O­riginal Sin by sundry remarkable Names or Phrases. It is stiled, 2. Iniquity wherein we were shapen, and sin wherein our Mothers conceived us. Psal. 51. 5. in regard of the Natural Propagation of it. 1 Sin.—That they are all under Sin. Rom. 3. 9. 1 Ioh. 1. 8. Rom. 7. 14. Because it is Sin [...] [...], the Sin of Sins, the mother and nurse of all Sins, virtually and semi­nally comprehending in it all sorts of Sins. 3 Sin dwelling in us, Rom. 7. 20. from the constant Inherence, Residence and Abode which it hath in all, yea e­ven in the Regenerate themselves, (to whom it is pardoned, and in whom it is in some measure mortified) during this present life, Rom. 7. 17, 18. 4 The Sin that doth so easily beset us. [...], Sin easily surrounding us, Heb. 12. 1. because it encompasseth Soul, Bo­dy, all our Faculties, Affections, Senses, Parts and whole Man. 5 The Law of Sin. Rom. 8. 2. and 7. 25. The Law of Sin in our members, Rom. 7. 23. because of the power and strength of Sin, which is resident in us: A Law is pow­erful and forcible. 6. The Body of Sin, Rom. 6. 6. because, as a Natural Body is compacted of many Parts, and hath di­vers proper Members set in it, whereby [Page 8] it acts: So sin Original hath many limbs, called Our members which are upon Earth, as Fornication, &c. Col. 3. 5. 7 Our Old man, Rom. 6. 6. Sin is so called, in Opposition to the New man, the Re­generate Part, and in distinction from our humane Natures: because our Corruption of Nature is from the first man the Old Adam; as our Regenerati­on is from the Spirit of Christ the last Adam. 8 The Old Leven to be purged out, 1 Cor, 5. 7. called Leven, because as Leven levens and sowers the whole lump of Dow, So Sin original levens the whole man, sowers and infects the whole man. Old, from old Adam. 9. The flesh. Ioh. 3. 6. Rom. 8. 18. Gal. 5. 17. because, As Flesh is opposite to Spirit, So Original Sin is opposite to Grace. And because as flesh is man's basest and vilest part, Phil. 3. 21. So Original Sin is the vilest evil in man.

Pause here, O Natural Man. Not only Adam's first Actual Sin is thine, being justly imputed to thee: But this Original Sin, thence contracted, is thine also, being naturally inherent in thee. It is the Disease, the Poyson, the Plague, the Leprosy of thy whole Nature. Thou art as full of it, as any Sink is full of filth, as any Serpent is full of venome, as any Toad is full of [Page 9] poyson. Thou art by Nature wholly defiled with it: universally captivated under the Dominion of it, and Spiri­tually Dead in it. And in this respect thy Condition is incomparably worse, than the Condition of any fowl, fish, bruit-beast, or creeping thing what­soever. For, they have no Original Sin in them, and thou art all full of it. And is this thy natural Condition, a State to be rested in by thee [...] wherein thou art far worse than any Dog, Toad, Serpent, mean or vilest creature under the Sun? Remember that of Au­gustine; Every one is damned as Gene­rated: None is delivered, but as Regene­rated Omnis Ge­neratus, dam­natus: nemo liberatus, nis [...] Regeneratus. Aug. de verb. Apost. Serm. 14. p. 325. D. Tom. 1o..

3. In the H [...]ge Heaps [...]nd Swarms of all thine actual Sins (the poysonous fruit of Sin Original) into which thou hast broken forth inconsiderately, from thy Birth until this very day, The sinful­ness of thy natural Condition is migh­tily augmented and aggrevatedRestat us in il­lo primo homi­ne peccasse om­nes intelligan­tur, quia in illo fuerunt om­nes quando ille peccavit. Vn­de pecca [...]um n [...]scendo [...] ▪ quod nisi Renascendo non solvi­vi [...]r. August▪ cont. dua [...] E [...]ist. Pe [...]g. l. 4. c. 4. p. 910. B. Tom. 7., O Na­tural Man!

Think often in thy Retired hours, of the [...]Variety, 2 Multiplicity, and 3 Extremity or Aggravations of thine Actual Sins.

[Page 10] (1) The Variety and several sorts, of thine Actual Sins; How manifold are they? As actual,

Sins in respect of the Subject, are distributed into Peccata Cordis, Oris, O­peris, Sins of Heart, Word, and Work. [...] In the Heart; what corrupt imagi­nation, Gen. 6. 5. what abominable, vain, Atheistical, blasphemous, prophane and polluted Thoughts Prov. 15. 26. What deadness, stupidity, defilement, S [...]ared­ness, &c. in the Conscience. Tit. 1. 15. 1 Tim. 4. 2. What Enmity, Perversness, crookedness, disobedience, rebellion, &c. in the will Ier. 44. 16, 17. &c. Luke 19. 14. What impenitency, hard­ness, deceitfulness, hypocrisy, Earthi­ness, Disorder, Confusion, &c. in the Heart and Affections. Rom. 2. 5. 2. In thy words and tongue, What Vain-speaking, Swearing, Cursing, Lying, Blaspheming, Back-biting, Slandering, False-witness-bearing, &c. Exod. 20. 7. Mat. 12. 36. the Tongue is a world of iniquity—Iam. 3. 6. and every idle word must be accounted for at the day of Judgement, Mat. 12. 36, 37. 3 In thy actions and works, though never so Religious in appearance, How dost thou miscarry in their Ground, Matter, Form, Manner, Circumstances and End, 1 Tim. 1. 5. Tit. 1. 15, 16. Isai. [Page 11] 1. 10. &c. and 66. 3. Hag. 2. 14. Prov. 15. 8. So that in none of them thou canst please God. Rom. 8. 8. Yea and even in thy secular Actions, thou [...] wholly Sinful, Prov. 21. 4. and 15. 9.

And to this Distribution of Actuals into Sins of Heart, Word, and Works; We may refer that of Sins into Inward, and Outward,

Sins, in respect of the Law or Rule violated by Sin, are, 1 Sins of Impiety or Ungodliness, contrary to the first Table of the Decalogue 2 Sins of Ini­quity Unrighteousness, or worldly Lusts, against the 2 Table, &c. Rom. 1. 18. Tit. 2. 12.

Of Impiety there are many sorts of Sins, properly repugnant to the 4 first Commandements: Of Unrighteous­ness are many Sorts also contrariant to the 6 last Commandements. And this Distribution of Sins according to the ten Commandements is most ac­curate.

Sins, in Respect of the Parts thereof, are 1 Sins of Omission, when duties pre­scribed are neglected; and this is a Ta­king from Gods Law. Iam. 4. 17. Mat. 25. 42. &c. Rev. 2. 21. 1 Sam. 15. 2, 3. 8, 9. &c. 2 Sins of Commission, when things prohibited are Practised, as Gen. 2. 16, 17. compared with Gen. 3. 6, 7. [Page 12] Achan's sin, Iosh. 7. 1. 15. 20, 21. 25, 26. compared with Iosh. 6. 17, 18, 19.

Sins, in respect of the Object offen­ded and wronged, are; 1 Sins against God, and repugnant to Piety. Rom. 1. 21, 22. 28. 2 Sins against Man, against our Neighbour and contrary to righ­teousness, to equity. Pro. 14. 21. Gen. 4. 8. 3 Sins against a mans own self, con­trary to Sobriety. 1 Cor. 6. 18. Prov, 20. 2. Touching the two first, See 1 Sam. 2. 25. Luke 15. 18. Touching all the three, See Tit. 2. 12. But Sin is other­wise against God, then it is against Man. Against God, as it is a Trans­gression of his Law: against man, only as it is a Damage or Inju­ry.

Sins, in regard of Time wherein they are acted, are 1 Sins of youth, Psalm. 25. 7. Eccles. 11. 9. 2 Tim. 2. 22. 2 Sins of riper age. Isai. 65. 20.

Sins, in regard of Place and cogni­zance, are; 1 Private or Secret, Psal. 19. 12. and 90. 8. Iosh. 7. 1. &c. 2 Pub­lick and open, when Sin is perpetra­ted boldly, impudently, in the view of others. Isai. 3. 9. Numb. 25. 6, 7, 8. 2 Sam. 16. 22.

Sins, in respect of their Power and Strength, are; Reigning, or [Page 13] not Reigning Rom. 6. 12, 13, 14.

Hither some refer the Distinction of Sin, into Mortal and Venial, not in the Popish Sense; but in a sound Sense; viz. As by Mortal Sin we may under­stand Sin reigning, which not repented of shall never be forgiven. And as by Venial Sin, we may understand, Sin not reigning, but in Christ upon repen­tance forgiven, and not bringing Con­demnation though it deserve it. Rom. 8. 1.

Sins, in respect of Degree, are Great, or Small, Ezech▪ 5. 6. 8. and 8. 15. Ioh. 19. 11. Mat 5. 21, 22.

(2.) The multiplicity of thine actual Sins; how innumerable are they! Are they not more than the hairs of thine head; Psal. 40. 12. are they not numberless like the Sands? and who can u [...]derstand his errors, how many they are? Psal. 19. 12. If in one Sin, so many Sins are complicated: as in Adam's SinSee before p. 1, 2. and my Treat. of Gods Cove­nants. p. 36, 37. p. 41▪ to 49.. Gen. 3. In Judas his Sin, Mat. 26 If in one day, in one hour, so many Sins in Thought, Word and Deed, are done by thee: If in one Prayer, &c. So many Sinful distractions, distempers, &c. are discovered: what millions, and Ten-thousand Millions of Millions of Sins proceed from thee in thy whole Life?

[Page 14] (3.) The Extremity and Aggravations of thy Actual Sins, How many and great are they, Have not thy Sins been,

Haynous, Crying Sins? As, I Blood­shed Gen. 4. 10. 2 Sodom's Sins Gen. 18. 20, 21. 3 Oppression Exod. 3. 7. 4 De­teyning Hirelings wages, Iam, 5. 4. ac­cording to the antient memorial verseClamitat aure Dei, vex Sanguinis; & S [...]domorum:: Which I may thus do into English;

1 Blood,
Vox Oppresso­rum; Mer [...]s de [...]enta labo­rum.
2 Sodom's Sins, 3 Oppressing Ty­ranny;
4 Detaining Hirelings Hire, are Sins that cry.

Sins against thine own Light?D. Prideaux. in Seha. The­ol. Syntag. Murmonit. 3. p. 13. Ioh. 9. 41. Luke 12. 47, 48. Iam. 4. 17.

Sins against the checks of thine own Conscience? Mat. 27. 17 to 27.

Sins against many Motions of Gods Spirit? Act. 7. 51. Eph. 4. 30. 1 Thes. 5. 19.

Sins against Gods rich Means of Grace? Isai. 5. 1 to 8. Mat. 21. 33 to 45.

Sins against the precious Blood of Christ? 1 Cor. 11. 27. Heb. 10. [...]9.

Sins against Gods many and great mercys. Hos. 2. 8.

Sins against Gods severe Judgments; inflicted on others for thine admoniti­on? [Page 15] 1 Cor. 10, 11. Dan. 5. 22, 23. &c. or upon thy self for thy Reformati­on? 2 Chron. 28. 22.

Sins against Gods Patience and Long-Suffering, leading thee to Re­pentance? Rom. 2. 4, 5. Rev. 2. 21.

Sins, wherein thou hast long conti­nued? Isai. 65. 20. Deut. 9. 7. 27.

Sins, which thou hast often re-itera­ted? Mat. 26. 69. to the end.

Sins, heightened by such and such Circumstances. As of Person, Time, Place, &c. Levit. 10. 1, 2, 3. Numb. 20. 12. 2 Sam. 12. 7, 8, 9.—Numb. 25. 6. Ioh. 2. 13. to 18.

Sins, wherein thou hast shamefully gloryed? Phil. 3. 19.

Sins, for the effecting of which thou hast been far more diligent and indu­strious, than ever thou wast for the saving of thy precious Soul? Mat. 23. 13. to 34.

Communion with others in their Sins, many wayes. Eph. 5. 11. As if thine were not enow to damn thee.

Oh, thou silly deceived Sinful Soul! When for all these Sins of thine God shall bring thee to judgement, Where shalt thou appear? Psal. 1. 5. Oh, What then wilt thou do, when God riseth up? and when he visiteth, what wilt thou An­swer him? Ioh. 31, 14.

[Page 16] II. The W [...]tchedness of a natural mans Condition, Who can enough Apprehend or Express! What words can suffici­ently declare! Where there's nothing but Carnality and Sinfulness, there's nothing but misery and wretchedness.

The Natural man's Condition, as it is most Sinful, without all even the least degree of Sanctity: So it is most mi­serable, without all even the least mea­sure of saving mercy or felicity. And such, O Natural man, is thy Conditi­on, in sundry respects. For,

1. Thou art by Nature wholly de­stitute of (that Paradise on Earth, that suburbs of Heaven, that handsel of Glory,) Sweet Communion with God. While Adam stood in his integrity, He had sweet fellowship with God, Gen. 1. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. and 2. 3, 7, 8. 16, 17, 18. and so to the end. But Adam had no sooner fallen but he lost that sweet Communion with God: was afraid of Gods voice, Hid himself from his presence among the Trees of the Gar­den: is Convented, Convinced, and judged for his Sin, and driven out of the Garden, &c. Gen. 3. 9. to the end. And whilst thou art in thy Natural State, in the first Adam lapsed, Thou art without all Communion with God [Page 17] also. For, What fellowship hath Righte­ousness with unrighteousness? And what Communion hath light with darkness? 2. Cor. 6. 14. Now God is light, and in him is no Darkness at all. If we say, we have fellowship with him and walk in dark­ness, we lie, and do not the Truth, &c. 1. Ioh. 1. 5. 6. 7. and every natural man is Darkness Eph. 5. 8. and habitually walks in darkness, 1 Ioh. 2. 9. 11.

Now, whilst thou art destitute of Communion with God, thou dost still remain without all these sweet Compa­nions of Communion with God. viz. Thou art

(1) Without all special favour and saving mercy from God.—which had not obtained mercy: 1. Pet. 2. 10▪

(2) Without any Saving Relation to God art none of his People nor is he thy God 1. Pet. 2. 10. yea. He is ashamed to be called thy God: or to own thee for one of his people. Heb. 11. 16.

(3) Without Christ, the last Adam. Eph. 2. 12. 1. Cor. 15. 45. By whom alone, all Saving mercy from God, and all saving Relation to God can be obtained. Act. 4. 11. 12. Ephes. 2. 13. to the end.

(4) An Alien from the Common wealth of Israel. Eph, 2. 12. Thou [Page 18] art none of his Family and Houshold none of his mistical body, of his invi­sible Church: But of the Synagogue of Satan Rev. 1. 6. For they that are Aliens to Christ, the Head: must needs be Aliens to his invisible Church and Body.

(5) A stranger from the Covenants of Promise, touching Christ Promised un­der the Old Testament: and conse­quently from the Covenant of Perfor­mance, touching Christ performed and exhibited in Human Nature, viz. The New Covenant. Ephes. 2. 12. laid down Heb. 8. 8. to the end. Oh what a mi­sery is this! To have nothing to do with Gods Covenant, not any the Promises▪ Priviledges, Benefits or Bles­sings thereof. This is to be shut out of Gods Grand Act of favour and mercy, His Act of Oblivion, Heb. 8. 12. His Magna Charta, his Great Charter for eternal happiness in Heaven.

(6) Having no Hope. Eph. 2. 12. viz. No true, Salvi [...]ical, well-grounded hope of life eternal in Heaven; or of future felicity in the world to come for thine immortal Soul. And such Hopeless men are most miserable men, 1. Cor. 15. 19. When thou hopeless wretch comest to die, what will become of thy Soul? What wilt thou then say to thy Soul? [Page 19] Even as that Atheistical Pope; Animu­la vagula Animula, vagula, blandu­la, Hospes Co­mesque Corpo­ris, tuos nun [...] a­bibis in [...] &c., &c. Omy poor wandring blandishing Soul, The Guest and Companion of my body, into what placet art thou now going? &c. To Heaven, or to Hell: to the glorified Saints, or to the dam­ned Reprobates: to Joyes everlasting, or to endless Torments: To God or to the Devil?

(7) Finally, while thou dost remain destitute of saving Communion with God, thou art without God in the World, an Atheist in the world. [...]. Eph. 2. 12. Eph. 2. 12. What? without God? Then, without all true Happiness, without the only supream Good, and Soul-satisfying Treasure, such God is, Math. 19. 17. Psal. 73. 25. 26.

2. Thou, in thy Natural State, art under the severe Curse of the Law; Which under pain of the Curse, re­quires of every one, Perfect, Perpe­tual, and Personal obedience to all things written in the Law, Gal. 3. 10. which no meer man since the Fall of Adam can possibly perform. Rom. 3. 9. to 29. and 5. 6. and 8. 3. 4. 7. 8. And whom the law Curseth, he is Cursed indeed, not by man, but by the living God himself.

3. Thou in thy Natural state, remai­nest still under the dreadful displeasure, [Page 20] and wrath of God Almighty.—Art by nature a child of wrath, Even as others. Eph. 2. 3. Under the Wrath of God? Oh! Who knoweth the Power of Gods an­ger, or according to his Fear (i. e. his word the Rule of his Fear, Psal. 19. 9.) his wrath? Psal 90. 11. If the wrath of an earthly King be as the Roaring of a Lion, Prov. 19. 12. What then is the wrath of God, the King of Kings? Our God is a Consuming fire. Heb. 12. 29. Consider the prints of Gods wrath, upon the lapsed Angels, 2, Pet. 2. 4. Fallen Adam.— Gen. 3. The sinful old world 2 Pet. 2. 5. The Cities of Sodom &c. 2 Pet. 2. 6. Gen. 19. The Beauteous Jeru­salem, and the Jews 2 Chron. 36. Yea, upon Jesus Christ the spotless Son of God himself, when he stood as the Sin­ners Surety, Math. 26. and 27. Luk. 22. and 23. And then say with the Psalmist; Thou, even thou art to be feared: and who may stand before thee, when once thou art angry? Psal. 76. 7. When he is wrath, The Heavens drop down, The Mountains melt and leap, The Rocks rend in pieces, The Earth Quakes, The Sea is dried up, The De­vils tremble Iam. 2. 19. And the whole Creation is amazed. Oh! think of the Terrour of the Lord, 2 Cor. 5. 11.

[Page 21] 4. Thou in thy natural state, art in league with the Devil himself, the Grand enemy of God and mankind, Math. 13. 28. 39. 1 Pet. 5. 8. that old Serpent, Revel. 12. 9. and perfor­mest thine Homage and obeisance unto him, 1 Ioh. 3. 8. Ioh. 8. 44. as to thy Conquer [...]r, Prince, Father, and God. Satan is,

1. As thy Conqueror, leading thee Captive at his will, by his powerful Temptations, yea by his meer suggesti­ons and snares. 2 Tim. 2. 26. and so thou art his meer vassal and slave.

2. As thy Prince, Ioh. 14. 30. effectu­ally working in the Children of Disobedi­ence, and in thee as in one of his Sub­jects. Eph. 2. 2.

3. As thy Father, whose works thou, as his Child; wilt do. Ioh. 8. 44. 1 Ioh. 3. 8. 12. Mat. 13. 38.

4. As thy God, and the God of this world, whom thou, as his Creature, wilt serve. 2 Cor. 4. 4.

5. Thou, in thy natural State, art lia­ble to all sorts and degrees of miseries in this present world, not as to Pater­nal Chastisements of a loving Father (the lot of Gods dear children. Heb. 12. 5. to 12.) but as to vindictive Punishments and curses of an angry God. Gen. 3. 16, 17, 18, 19. and 4. 9 to 15. Levit. 26. [Page 22] to 40. Deut. 28. 15. to the end. Psal. 11. 6.

These Miseries are of many sorts: But may be reduced to

1. Miseries incident to thee in thy Goods and Temporal estate. As, when thy ground is barren, brings forth thorns and thistles, &c. Gen. 3. 18. thy cattel cast their young, Deut 28. 18. Fire consumes thy dwelling, Iob. 15. 34. thieves rob thee of thy wealth, Iob. 1, 13. to 18, Extortioners catch all thou hast, Psal. 109. 11. &c.

2. Miseries incident to thee in thy Relations. As, Treachery in thy friends Iudg. 9. 23. falsness and sloathfulness in thy Servants and hirelings, 2 Chr. 24, 25. and 33. 24. Alienation in thy Kins­folks, Iudg. 9. 5. 24. Disobedience and Undutifulness in thy Children. Deut. 28. 18. Disaffection, vexatiousness, &c. in thy wife 1 King. 21. 25. Deut. 28. 30.

3. Miseries to which thou urt expo­sed in thy good Name. As Lyes, Re­proaches, Slaunders, Back-bitings, &c. The Name of the wicked shall rot. Prov. 10. 7.

4. Miseries, whereunto thou art lia­ble in thy Body. As, Hunger and want of Food, Deut. 28. 53. &c. Thrist, and want of Drink. Lam. 4. 4. [Page 23] Breaking or dislocating of bones, Numb. 24. 8. Weaknesses, grievous pains, with sickness and many sorts of Diseases; Feavers, Agues, Pestilen­ces, &c. Deut. 28. 21, 22. Cold and nakedness, Ezek 16. 39. Bonds and Imprisonments, Deut. 28. 63. to the end. Perils and dangers by land and water, &c.

In thy whole life thou art exposed to Armies of miseries.

6. Thou, in thy Natural state, art subject to death, the [...] and extremi­ty of all these wordly miseries, for thy sinfulness. Rom. 5. 12. and 6. 23. Gen. 2. 16, 17. with 3. 19. Die thou must, that's certain; but when, where, how, &c. that's most uncer­tain: and how small a matter may bring thee to thine end? The bone of a Fish going cross thy throat may choak thee, as it did Tarquinius Priscus: A Raisin-stone may kill thee, as it did Sophocles and Anacreon: An hair in a draught of milk may end thee, as it did Fabius the Senator: The tooth of thy Comb as thou art combing thine head, entring the flesh, may make thy death's wound, as it befel Ruffinus the Consul: A Needle thrust into thy brest by a child born in thiue arms, may hasten thy death, as it befel Lucia, [Page 24] the Daughter of Aurelius. And when Death hath severed soul and body, what shall become of thy soul? Shall it ascend, or descend? Shall it live, or shall it die, &c. O, never think, that thou who livedst and diedst with­out God in this world, shall after death ascend to God, or live with God, in the world to come!

7. Thou, in thy Natural state, canst not escape the damnation of Hell, but shalt have part in the Lake which burn­eth with fire and brimstone, which is the second Death, there to be excru­ciated with torments numberless, easeless, remediless and endless, Mat. 23. 33. Rev. 21. 8. Rom. 6. 23. Gen. 2. 17. Mat. 25. 41, 46. Iude, verse 7. There, shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Mat. 25. 30. There, their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, Mar. 9. 43, 44. There, not one drop of water from the top of a finger shall be vouchsafed to cool a tormented tongue, Luk. 10. 24, 25, 26. There thou shalt have pain of loss, and pain of sense. There thou shalt have plenty and penury; plenty of tor­ment, penury of comfort. There will be Amissio Coeli, The miss of Heaven, which was often tendered thee, but thou didst refuse: Privatio Terrae, The loss of Earth, which thou hadst, but [Page 25] couldst not keep: Positio Inferni, The Position of Hell, which thou shalt have, and canst not be delivered from it. There will be universality, extre­mity, eternity of unpityed misery up­on thy soul and body, without the least alteration, mitigation and cessa­tion.

Oh wretched Natural man! Might thy torments in Hell be brought to an end, after so many millions of years as there are Stars in Heaven, Atomes in the Air, Dust in the Earth, Drops in the Sea, Grass-piles on the ground, or as there have been moments of time since time begun; it would be some comfort to thee in enduring them, some hope of being delivered from, them. But this eternity of Death and Torments will quite break thy heart; would make the very stinging of Ants and Fleas intolerable. Eternity is the very Hell of Hell. One said,O Vita mortifera! O Mors immorta­is! Et quomodo tandem te ap­pellabimus? Vitam, an mor­tem? Si vita es, quomodo oc­cidis? Si mors es, quomodo duras? &c. Rob. Bellarmin. in Conc. 3 de Cruciatibus Gehennae, part. 2. p. 467. Colon. 1626. O deadly life! O immortal death! What shall I term thee? Life? And wherefore then dost thou kill? Death? And where­fore then dost thou endure? There's neither life nor death but hath something good in it; for in life there is some ease, and in death [Page 26] an end; but thou hast neither ease, nor end. What then shall I stile thee? Even the bitterness of both; for of death thou hast the torment, without any end, and of life the continuance, without any ease. God hath substracted both from life and from death, all that is good: the re­sidue he hath mixed together, and therewith tempered the torments of Hell. O bitter Cup, which all sin­ners impenitent shall drink at Gods hand!

This, this, O Natural man, is a brief shadow of thy sinful and wretched condition by Nature. But the one half, the tenth part, is not told thee. O, How can thine heart hold from breaking, thine eyes from dropping, thy bowels from turning within thee? How canst thou eat or drink with any comfort? How canst thou slumber or sleep one night in quiet? How canst thou possess, or go about any worldly thing with delight, whilst thou art in­gulfed in this sinful, and woful, Na­tural condition.

II. Direction.

BE clearly and fully convinced in thy Conscio [...]ce, O Natural man, That thou still remainest in this thy sinful and wretched condition, un-con­verted, un-regenerate, un-renewed, until this present day. That, thou art still in the first Adam, and not as yet transplanted into Christ the last Adam. That, thou art still in thy sinful and miserable state of Nature, and not hi­therto translated into an holy and hap­py state of Grace. That, thou art in thy sins still, 1 Cor. 15. 17. Thou art in the flesh still, Rom. 8. 8. Thou art dead in sins and trespasses still, Eph. 2. 1, 5. Col. 2. 13. Thou art in darkness, and very darkness it self still, 1 Ioh. 2. 9, 11. Eph. 5. 8. Thou art an enemy to God still, Rom. 8. 6, 7. Col. 1. 21. Thou art wholly displeasing to God still, Rom. 8. 8. Finally, That thou art in thy cursed and damned state still, Gal. 3. 10. Ioh. 3. 18, 36.

Here therefore I shall offer to thee chiefly two things for thy most serious consideration, viz.

I. That, it is most necessary for thee, O Natural man, to be throughly convinced, That thou still remainest in thy most sinful and wretched state of Nature, even until now. For,

[Page 28] 1. Vntil thou beest throughly con­vinced, O Natural man, that thou still remainest in thy sinful and wretch­ed state of Nature, thou wilt be apt to flatter thy self into a fond and ground­less imagination, that thou art in a good spiritual state towards God, especially if thou hast been kept by Gods common restraining grace, from grosser sins, and hast been exercised in some outward acts of Religion and righteousness. Thus the un-convin­ced Pharisee, though in his un-justifi­ed Natural state, had an high opinion of his good spiritual state beyond other men, and beyond the Publican, and bragg'd of it even in his prayer to God, because he avoided some gross sins, and practised some outward duties, Luk. 18. 9. to 15. Thus Paul before his conviction and conversion, thought himself alive once without the Law, by reason of his outward unblameable­ness, legal priviledges, and external exercises of Religion: but when the Commandement came and convinced him, sin revived and he died. Compare Rom. 7. 9. with Phil. 3. 4, 5, 6. Thus the Laodicean Angel had an high opinion of his own good estate, till Christ con­vinced him of the contrary, and [Page 29] taught him the right way of bettering his condition, Rev. 3. 16, 17, 18, 19. The Natural man's self-opinionateness of his good estate, seals him up incura­bly in his bad estate. Many might have attained to a great degree of Christianity, if they had not presumed themselves to be Christians good enough already.

2. Vntil thou art fully convinced, O Natural man, that thou still remain­est in thy sinful and wretched state of Nature, thou wilt never be kindly humbled for, nor become weary of, thy Natural state. Without convicti­on, there's no true sence of sin and mi­sery: without true sence of sin and mi­sery, who will be humbled for it or weary of it? Conviction, How did it humble Manasses? 2 Chron. 33. How did it abase Paul? Act. 9. Who can clearly see his own Natural sinfulness and wretchedness, and not abhor him­self as in dust and ashes? Zech. 12. 10, &c.

3. Vntil thou beest kindly convin­ced of thy present sinfulness and wretchedness by Nature, thou wilt ne­ver seriously and sincerely seek out for supernatural remedy. When Peter's Hearers were convinced and pricked in heart, then they presently repair to [Page 30] the Apostles, saying, Men and brethren what shall we do? Act. 2. 36, 37. When the Iaylor's heart was convinced and shaken as well as the foundations of the Prison, he presently enquires of Paul and Silas, Sirs, what must I do be sa­ved? Act. 16. 30. There are three steps towards the cure of a sick body, and of a sinful soul, viz. Inveuire morbum, To find out and be convinced of the mala­dy; Adire medicum, To have recourse to the Physician for direction; and Applicare medicinam, To apply the me­dicine for the attaining of recovery. Who will seek to the Physician or apply any remedy, that feels no smart of his malady?

4. Vntil thou art fully convinced, O Natural man, that thou continuest still in thy Natural sinfulness and wretchedness, thou wilt never repent, and turn from thy sinful estate to God. Till the Prodigal soundly smarted un­der sence of his sin and misery, he ne­ver came to himself, or to a penitent re­solution of returning to his Father. But then he comes, and sayes, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee—&c. Luke 15. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21. Here see, how conviction and lively sense of sin and misery, put him upon serious Consideration: Con­sideration [Page 31] put him upon penitential Re­solution, Return, Repentance, Confessi­on, Reformation, and humble Suppli­cation.

5. Vntil thou, O Natural man, shalt be throughly convinced of the sinfulness and wretchedness of thy pre­sent Natural state wherein thou re­mainest unto this present day, thou never givest an actual entertainment and present welcome in thy soul, unto Jesus Christ and him crucify'd, as the only remedy against this sinfulness and wretchedness of thy Natural conditi­on. 'Tis the sense of present pain, that makes the Patient cry out for means of ease till he find it, and ha­ving obtained it, how doth be esteem it and delight in it? 'Tis the appre­hension of present danger at Sea in a storm, that makes the Passengers cry to God and man to help, Ionah 1. 5, 6. Psal. 107. 25, 26, 27, 28. and if the storm cease, and the Sea becomes still, that they can come to their desired Ha­ven, Oh how welcome and acceptable is the Haven unto them! Psal. 107, 29, 30. So here; 'Tis the conviction of thy present Natural sinfulness and wretchedness, that makes thee in thy servent desires even thirst and long af­ter Christ, the only Redeemer, vehe­mently; [Page 32] and upon obtaining of Christ, makes thee prize him highly, love him dearly, and delight in him most contentedly: As the penitent soul did, in like case, who washed Christs feet with her tears, wiped them with the hairs of her head, kissed them, and an­nointed them with oyntment, Luk. 7. 37. to the end. Oh, how acceptable is Christs Redemption, to them that feel their bondage under sin and misery! How amiable is Christs all-sufficiency for salvation, to them that are appre­hensive of their sins damnation! And how precious, sweet and delectable is Christs sin-cleansing and soul-saving blood, to them that are aright convin­ced of the wormwood, bitterness and gall of their Natural sinfulness and wretchedness! Ease is alwayes accep­table; but double acceptable after tormenting pain: Health is alwayes sweet; but double sweet after long, te­dious and tyring sickness: Life is al­wayes pleasant; but to have returned from the brink of the grave to life a­gain, is a double life.

Thus, O Natural man, it appears plainly, how necessary and advantage­ous it is for thee to be convinced, of the sinfulness and wretchedness of thy Natural state, wherein thou still re­mainest even until now.

[Page 33] II. How, and by what Discoveries, thou maist be clearly convinced, O Natural man, that thou still remainest in thy sinful and wretched state of Nature, in the first Adam; comes now to be considered, and to be considered by thee most seri­ously.

Know thou therefore, O man, O woman, whoever thou art, That the great God hath, in his faithful Word, certainly discovered and declared, every one, and consequently thy self in particular, to be and remain still in the Natural state of sin and misery: If these ensuing notes and characters of a state of sin and misery do certainly be­long to them and to thee, viz.

1. If thou art without God in the world, [...]. Eph. 2. 12. compa­red with verse 3. wherein the Apostle intimates; That the Ephesians, while in their sinful and wretched state of Nature, were without God in the world, and while without God in the world, they were children of wrath, even as others. Art thou not without God? Where's the divine Nature? 2 Pet. 1. 4. Where Gods Image? Eph. 4. 24. Col. 1. 10. Where the life of God? Eph. 4. 18.

2. If thou art still without Christ, [that at that time (i. e. while in your [Page 34] Natural state) ye were without Christ] Eph. 2. 12. with verse 3. Christless men are Godless men, for it is by Christ, as the way, whereby we come unto God as the end, Ioh. 14. 6. Heb. 7. 25. And Godless men are graceless men, sinful, wretched men; for God alone is the Author of all grace, 1 Pet. 5. 10. Eph. 2. 8. Art not without God? Then is Christ thine Head and Husband to guide thee? Eph. 5. 22, 24. Thy Lord and King to rule thee? Col. 2. 6. Thy Christ to annoint thee? 1 Ioh. 2. 20, 27. Thine Inhabitant to dwell in thee? Eph. 3. 17.

3. If thou art still without the Spirit of God, and of Christ inhabiting in thee. Remarkable is that of the Apostle— Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his, Rom. 8. 9. Here the Apostle intimates, 1. That, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ, is one and the same Spirit. 2. That, to be Christs, and to be in the Spirit, amounts in effect to the same thing. 3. That, they who have the Spirit of God and of Christ dwelling in them, are not in the flesh, (i. e. in their sinful and wretched state of Nature) but in the Spirit, (i. e. in a spiritual, [Page 35] holy, and happy state of grace. And 4. That, they who have not the Spirit of Christ, are none of Christs, are not in the Spirit, but in the flesh, i. e. in their sinful and wretched state of Na­ture.

Now, they have not the Spirit of God, and of Christ,

(1) Who are Unregenerate and Un­renewed. For the Spirit of God, and of Christ is a Regenerating Spirit, Ioh. 3. 5, 6. 8. A Renewing Spirit, Tit. 3. 5. He renews the whole man, in part. All things become New. 2 Cor. 5. 17.

(2) Who are Unsanctified and Unholy. For the Spirit of God and of Christ is an Holy Spirit, Psal. 5. 111. Eph. 1. 13. and 4. 30. The Holy Ghost 2 Cor. 13. 14. Tit. 3. 5. 2. Pet. 1. 21. 1 Ioh. 5. 7. Iude vers. 20. And all those that are builded by the Spirit for an Habi­tation of God, are by him made an Holy Temple in the Lord, Ephes. 2. 21. 22. 1 Cor. 3. 16. 17. And this Holy Spirit is the peculiar and immediate Author of Sanctification and Holiness to all Gods Elect, 1 Pet. 1. 2. A Spirit of Grace. Zech. 12. 10.

(3) Who are grossly ignorant of the Spiritual things of God, So as not to receive them, but to count them foo­lishness. 1 Cor. 2. 14. Eph. 4. 18. [Page 36] For, The Spirit of God and of Christ is A Spirit of Truth, leading unto all Truth, Ioh. 16. 13. A Spirit of wis­dom and Revelation for the knowledge and acknowledging of the God of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephes, 1. 17. &c.

(4) Who are not of Gods own fami­ly, are not his Adopted children nor are furnished with Filial Confidence, Fear, Love, Obedience, and other Child­like Properties. For, The Spirit of God and of Christ is a Spirit of Adop­tion where he dwells, Rom. 8. 15. Con­firmin [...]g their Sonship, and assuring them of their Adopted State, 1. As a Wit­ness Rom. 8. 16. 2. As a Seal, Ephes. 1. 13. 3. As an Earnest of their Inhe­ritance, Ephes. 1. 14. And 4. As a first-fruits, Rom. 8. 23.

5. Who are prayer-less persons, wholly unable with filial faith, zeal and affection, to cry, Abba Father. For the Spirit of God and of Christ is a Spirit of prayer, a Spirit of grace and supplication, Zech 12. 10. enabling Gods children to cry fervently, Abba Fa­ther, Rom. 8. 15. and the Spirit helps our prayer-infirmities, when we know not what to pray for as we ought. For he maketh intercession for us, (viz. by en­abling us to intercede for our selves) with unutterable groans, (i. e. with un­utterable [Page 37] desires and longings of soul) Rom. 8. 26, 27.

4. If thou art still without the immedi­ate, fundamental, and saving effects of the Spirits of God and of Christ, viz. Regene­ration, Ioh. 3. 3, 5, 6, 8. Renovation, Tit. 3. 5. New Creation in Christ, Eph. 2. 10. 2 Cor. 5. 17. Conversion from sin and Satan to God, Act. 26. 18. Effectual vocation, 2 Thes. 2. 13, 14. 2 Cor. 6. 1, 2. Ioh. 6. 44. And San­ctification, 1 Pet. 1, 2. 2 Thes. 2. 13. By which Gods Spirit brings sinners out of the state of Nature: Then art still in the sinful and wretched state of Nature.

5. If thou art still unbelieving, without faith unfeigned, as by Nature all are, Tit. 1. 15. 2 Thes. 3. 2. And having no hope, no well-grounded hope of salvation and happiness by Christ, in this or the world to come, as is the condition of all in state of Nature, Eph. 2. 12. Then thou remain­est in the state of Nature to this hour.

6. If thou continuest still impenitent and un-reformed to this day, not turned from darkness to light, nor from the power of Sa­tan to God, Act. 26. 18. Col. 1. 13. Thou art still in thy sinful and wretched state of Nature. For by repentance God brings men unto himself, into a spiri­tual, supernatural state of life, holi­ness [Page 38] and happiness, Act. 2. 38. and 5. 31. and 26. 18.—Repentance unto life, Act. 11. 18. Ezek. 18. 30, 31, 32.

7. If thou dost habitually and primarily mind the things of the flesh. If thy thoughts, contrivances, designs, &c. are chiefly about carnal and worldly things, how to grow great, rich, &c. but seldom or never mindest the things of the Spirit, how to obtain Christ, how to be saved, how to make thy cal­ling and election sure, how to make Heaven sure, how to walk with God, &c. Then thou art still after the flesh, Rom. 8. 5, &c.

8. If thy mind and wisdom be enmity against God, and cannot endure to be subject to the Law of God, then it is carnal, Rom. 8. 7. Col. 1. 21. The Natural mans mind is so set upon sinful principles and wicked works, that it cannot choose but hate God and his Law that utterly condemn them.

9. If thou art not a lover, but a hater of Gods people, in whom Gods image appears and shines forth. He that hateth his bro­ther, is in darkness, (viz. in the dark­ness of a sinful and miserable state by Nature) and walketh in darkness, 1 Joh. 2. 9, 19, 11.—He that loveth not his bro­ther, abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother, (i. e. his Christian brother, [Page 39] for God, Christ, Grace, Godli­ness, &c. in him,) is a Murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him, 1 Ioh. 3. 14, 15.

10. If thou art under the Power of dark­ness, Col. 1. 13. The Natural man is not only Dark in the Concreet but Darkness itself in the Abstract, Eph. 5. 18. He is so dark, that he is all dark­ness, and nothing but darkness, there­fore he is under the raign and power of it, so that he cannot by any ability of his own Extricate or deliver himself out of it.

The Natural man is under the power of a threefold Darkness. viz.

(1) The darkness of Sin, Sins are works of Darkness, Eph. 5. 11. The State of Sin is a state of darkness. Such are dead in Sins and trespasses: and as dead, they are overwhelmed with darkness, dwelt in darkness. Eph. 2. 1. 5.

(2) The darkness of Ignorance. This in part is that darkness that blinds the Eyes of Natural man, 1 Ioh. 2. 11. So that he cannot receive the things of God, they are Foolishness to him, neither can he know them; because they are Spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. 2. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. 14. The Gospel is hid to them that are lost, the God of this world having blinded the minds of them that believe not, least the light of [Page 40] the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine unto them. 2 Cor. 3, 4.

(3) The Darkness of misery, by rea­son of his Sinfulness. The Scripture fre­quently expresseth misery under the Notion of Darkness which is very un­comfortable and dreadful: As, the Miseries in this life, Psal. 88. 6. and 107. 10. In death, Iob. 10. 21, 22. In Hell, wher's utter Darkness, Mat. 22. 13. and 25. 30. Blackness of darkness for ever Iude vers. 13. Everlasting chains under darkness, Iude 6. The Natural man being a child of wrath, Eph. 2, 3. having the wrath of God abiding on him, and being condemned already, Ioh. 3. 18. 36 may well be said to be under the pow­er of darkness.

11. If thou art under the Power of Satan hitherto, thou art still in thy Sinful and wretched State of Nature. For every man Naturally is under Satan's Power and dominion, till he be supernaturally converted unto God. Act. 26. 18. Hence Satan is called, The Father of such, Ioh. 8. 44. The Prince of this world, Ioh. 14. 30. The Prince of this power of the Air, the spirit that effectually worketh in the chil­dren of disobedience, Eph. 2. 2. The God of this world, 2. Cor. 4. 4.

Now thou art under the power of Satan.

[Page 41] (1) While Satan blinds thine eyes, so that the Gospel is hid to thee. Is a my­stry, a Paradox, to thee, &c.left the glorious Light of the Gospel should shine unto thee. 2 Cor. 4. 4.

(2) While thou art an Unbeliever, 2 Cor. 4. 4.

(3) While thou art [...], a son, or Child of Disobedience. Gr. of Vn­persuadeableness, Eph. 2. 2. who are most disobedient to God, Christ and his Spi­rit. Unperswadeable by his word, Promises, &c. to repent, believe, &c.

(4) While thou art acted, and energe­tically wrought upon by the Spirit that is the Prince of the Power of the a yr. Ephes. 2. 2. [...] the spirit now energetically-working, or ef­fectually working. He effectually works in such, when he prevails with his Temp­tations over them, when he attains his will upon them, &c.

(5) While thou art resolvedly set and determined willfully, to do the lusts of the Devil, Ioh. 8. 44.

(6) While thou art held in the Snare of the Devil, and held Captive by him at his will, 2 Tim. 2. 26. Gr. [...], Taken alive, It seems to be a Metaphor, from Captains and Conquerors, who in war take their Enemies alive, carry them away in [Page 42] triumph, and use them as they please: Or from Huntsmen, who take their Prey wild beasts alive, and do with them as they list. So Satan deals with the Na­tural man, while under his power, he wholly enters him, orders him, acts him, by his Suggestions as he will.

12. If thou art dead in Sins and Tres­passes, and not as yet quickned by Christ, Eph. 2. 1. 5. Col. 2. 13. thou art hitherto in thy Sinful and wretced State of Nature. To be dead in Sin and Trespasses is to be Spiritually dead, while thou art Na­turally alive.

And art not thou Spiritually dead? Are not the Tokens of Spiritual Death clearly upon thee?

(1) Art not thou quite destitute of the Fountain and Root of all Spiritu­al life to the Soul? Christ is the Foun­tain of all Spiritual Life, being united to the Soul by Faith, Gal. 2. 20. Ioh. 11. 25, 26. As the Soul is the Fountain of Natural Life being u [...]ted to the body▪ the body is dead, when without the Soul: Iam. 2. 26. So the Soul is dead in every Natural man, while he is with­out Christ. Eph. 2. 1. 5. 12.

(2) Art thou not wholly destitute of any spiritual sense rightly to discern and receive the things of God? 1 Cor. 2. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14.

[Page 43] And where there's no Soul, there's no life.

(3) Art thou not utterly destitute of Spiritual Breath? viz. The sacred brea­things of strong cryes and groans, [...]er­vent desires and prayers, crying Abba Fa­ther? This is their breath, that are spi­ritually alive, Rom. 8, 15.—26, 27. No sooner was Saul▪ converted and quickned by Christ: but the Lord told Ananias;—behold he prayeth, Act 9. 11. Breath and Life come and go to­gether. Gen. 2. 7. Psal. 104. 29. If thou art without this spiritual breathing, this Spirit of Prayer, thou art with­out the Spirit of Life from Christ, and remainest dead in Sin.

(4) Art thou not without all vital Heat and Spirit, warmth of heart, de­sire, love, and all good affections to­wards God, Christ, his people, and his wayes: and even stone-cold as to all matters of Religion, Devotion, divine Worship, as carnal men use to be? Rev. 3. 15, 16

Then thou art not only mortally [...]ick; but quite dead in Sin, stret­ched-out, and ready to be buried in the infernal pit. As where there's Na­tural warmth in the body, there's life: where nothing but Coldness, there's Death.

[Page 44] 13▪ If thou art still an habitual worker of iniquity, A Tradesman in sin: Thou art still in thy Natural state and Condition. Such Christ will not at all own, but e­ternally reject at the last day. Mat. 7. 23. [...]Tis one thing to sin, or slip into sin accidently; another to trade in sin constantly, habitually, and to yield up his members as tools of unrighteousness unto Sin. Rom. 6. 12, 13. &c.

14, Finally, Thou art still in thy meer Natural sinful state, if in the whole course of thy life thou walkest according to the Course of this World; The Lusts and wills of the Flesh, The suggestions, Temptations and operations of the Devil. All such are dead in sin, and by Nature Children of wrath. See all this most fully in Eph. 2. 1, 2, 3.

III. Direction.

COnsider often with all Ser [...]us­ness, D Natural Man, That li­ving and dying in this thy Sinful and wretched Condition of Nature, thou [...] utterly lost both Body and Soul for evermore: And caust not expect any [Page 45] other portion after this present momen­tary Life, than everlasting Torments in unquenchable Fire with the Devil and his Angels. Compare diligently, Ephes. 2. 1, 2, 3. Luk. 13. 3. 5. and Ioh. 3. 36. with Mat. 25. 41. to the end. Luk. 16. 24. Iude 7. Math. 9. 43, 44. As was formerlyIn the close of the I. Direction.intimated.

Here therefore, O Sinful and wret­ched Natural Man, I beseech thee let these 2 things sink deep into thine heart, viz.

1. That, Thou living and dying in this thy Natural State, shalt certainly perish both Body and Soul in Everlasting torments in Fire Prepared for the Devil and his An­gels. Math. 25. 41. For,

1. If thou livest and diest in thy Na­tural State of Sin, Thou livest and di­est Without Christ and without Hope, Eph. 2. 1. 2. with vers. 12. Christless and Hopeless. And therefore Hopeless, because Christless: For Jesus Christ is our Hope, i. e. The sure foundati­on of all our Hope of Salvation, 1. Tim. 1. 1. What? Christless? How then canst thou be saved? Who ever was, or can be saved without Christ? Act. 4: 11. 12. And Hopeless too? yes. For, who can once expect or look for Salvation by Christ, with­out Hope?

[Page 46] 2. If thou livest and diest in thy Sinful and wretched state of Nature, Then thou livest and diest a most Cur­sed Creature, Gal. 3. 10. and A Child of wrath, even as others, Eph. 2. 1. 2. 3. what? Cursed? For what? For that thou continuest not in all things which are written in the Book of the Law to do them, Gal. 3. 10. because thou doest not perform, as is thy duty, perfect, perpetual, personal obedience to all things in Gods Law, which, nor thou, nor any meer man since Adam's Fall, could ever perform. (2:) To what art thou cursed? 1. To pains of Loss and Sense, Mat. 25. 41. Depart ye cursed—There's pains of Loss. Depart from Christ, from the only Redeemer, Gal. 3. 13. From the only All-sufficient Saviour, Heb. 7. 25. From the one only Mediator betwixt God and man, 1 Tim. 2. 5. From the only way unto the Father, Ioh. 14. 6. From the hope and consolation of Israel, &c. 1 Tim. 1. 1. Luk. 2. 25. Oh! who can so depart from Christ, and that for ever, and not be cursed? 2. To pains of Sense: Depart into ever­lasting fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels. What, into fire? What is more sharp and tormenting to the Sense, then fire? Into everlasting fire? [Page 47] Then no hopes of relaxation or delive­rance thence, after millions and ten thousand millions of years, &c. Ever­lasting, kills the soul. Oh! who can dwell with everlasting burnings? Into everlasting fire prepared? Prepared by God. Tophet is ordained of old,—he hath made it deep and large, the pile there­of is fire and much wood, the breath of the LORD like a stream of brimstone doth kindle it, Isa. 3. 33. And if God have prepared it, whose wisdom, power, justice, wrath, &c. are infinite, how dreadful is that Preparation! No men, Angels or Creatures, can make such Preparation. Prepared for the Devil and his Angels. Oh what a dreadful prepa­ration must that needs be! What? To be everlastingly racked with the Devil and his Angels; the worst of all socie­ty? To be everlastingly tormented in fire prepared for the Devil and his An­gels? What an aggravation will this be of these infernal fiery torments? No torments in the world like these torments. (3.) And by whom art thou, and shalt thou be thus dreadfully cursed? By the glorious and living God, in his Word, Gal. 3. 10. And by the Lord Jesus Christ, at the great day, Mat. 25. 41. O dismal, soul-damning Curse! What Natural man, so dying, [Page 48] can escape it, or endure it? Whom God and Christ curseth, they are curs­ed; whom God and Christ blesseth, they are blessed indeed.

3. If thou livest and diest in thy sin­ful and wretched state of Nature, Thou wilt be eternally shut out from God, Christ, and all the Blessed Saints and Angels, unto the Devil, his Angels and Reprobates; from Hea­ven, to Hell; from light, to dark­ness; from joy, to grief; from mer­cy, to misery; from happiness, to unhappiness; from life, to death; from all good, into a conflux of all evil. Compare Mat. 18. 3. Ioh. 3. 3, 5. 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10. Gal. 5. 19, 20, 21. with Mat. 23. 33. Rev. 21. 8. Mat. 25. 41, 46.

II. That, There's weighty cause why these thoughts and Considerations should strike deep into thy heart, and dwell there. For,

1. This Life is the only season and seed-time of grace, for obtaining of salvation, and preventing of damnati­on. Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation, 2 Cor. 6. 2. Now is the time of repenting, turn­ing to God, believing in Christ, of laying up for our selves treasures in Heaven, &c. Act. 17. 30. Eccl. 12. 1. [Page 49] Mat. 6. 20. Therefore to day if thou wilt hear his voice, harden not thy heart, Heb. 3. 7, 8, 15. Whatsoever thine hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wis­dom in the grave whither thou g [...]est, Eccl. 9. 10. As the Tree falls, to Heaven or Hell, so it will lye till the last day.

2. This present life of thine (which is the only seed-time of grace and sal­vation) is most frail and short. Thou hast here no continuing City; happy wert thou, didst thou by faith unfaigned seek one to come. A City that bath foun­dations, whose builder and maker is god, Heb. 3. 13, 14. with 11. 9, 10. We are all strangers before God, and sojourners, as all our Fathers were, 1 Chron. 29. 15. Man born of a woman, is but short of dayes, and full of trouble, Job 14. 1. Mans Life is of no long computation, at most, in ordinary dispensation, but 70 or 80 years, Psal. 90. 10. And what's that to eternity? Thy Life is but a few years, Job 16. 22. Moneths of number, Job 14. 5. A f [...]w and evil dayes, Gen. 47. 9. An Hirelings day, which at most is but 12 hours, Iob 14. 6. As nothing, before God. Surely every max at his best estate is altogether vanity, Selah, Psal. 39. 5. O, with what pathetical [Page 50] similitudes doth the Holy Ghost re­present the vanity and brevity of mans Life! Mans Life here is but a vapour, appearing and disappearing, Iam. 4. 14. A wind, that blows and goes, Iob 7. 7. A flower, that flourisheth and fades, Psal. 103. 16, 17. Iob. 14. 2. A fable or tale told, almost as soon forgot as told, Psal. 90. 9. A flood, speedily flowing night and day, never return­ing, Psal, 90. 5. A watchin the night, but 3 hours long, Psal. 90. 4. A sleep, insensibly gone, Psal. 90. 5. A sha­dow, or show, without substance and reality, Iob. 14. 2. Psal. 39. 6.

Such is thy Life, O Natural man, thy day spends apace, thy night hastens wherein thou canst not work. Up and be doing: The journey to Heaven is a long and difficult way; to fit thy self for Heaven is a great work. Lose not an inch, a moment of time, lest it be too late. This day is thy flourish­ing, to morrow may be thy funeral: So it was with that graceless fool, Luk. 12. 20. This night thou sleepest in thy bed, ere many nights come thou maist sleep in thy grave. And then, if thy heavenly work be not done, thou art eternally undone.

3. Thy Death is sure, Heb. 9. 27. Iob 14. 5. 2 Sam. 14. 14. The dismal [Page 51] winter doth not more certainly pur­sue the summer and autumn, the dark­some night not more infallibly and speedily drive away the day, then thine unexpected Death will thy mo­mentany Life. Thy Death is then most certain, and most uncertain thing in the world: most certain that it will come; most uncertain when, where, how, it will come upon thee. Thy last day is concealed from thee, that every day it may be expected by thee. Latet ul­timus dies, ut observentur omnes dies. August. Hom. 13. p. 441. B. Tom. 10. Basil. 1569. Be alwayes in readiness for God and Christ, lest Death surprize thee, and so thou be shut out with the 5 foolish virgins, and the impenitent thief, Mar. 25. 10, 11, 12. Luk. 23. 39, 40, 41.

4. Upon thy Death, O Natural man, Gods impartial judgement, and infernal torments, will immediately pass upon thy soul, Heb. 9. 27. Luk. 16. 22, 23, 24. And upon both body and soul at the great day of the LORD, Mat. 25. 41, 46. 2 Thes. 1. 7, 8. And Oh how intolerable, incu­rable, and undeterminable will they be! as hath been intimated.

5. Finally, It were a thousand pities, that thy precious and immortal soul, O' Natural man, should ever come into that place of torments. For, 1. Was not thy sould a spark of [Page 52] immortality, which no mortals nor meer creatures can possibly kill and de­stroy? Mat. 10. 28. 2. Was not thy soul, in its first Creation, the princi­pal receptacle and subject of the blessed Image of God? Gen. 1. 26, 27. 3. Is not thy soul still the seat of all thy rea­son, understanding, sense, motion, strength, beauty, &c. and the very rise and guide of thy whole body, without which it is no better than a dead, sense­less, helpless, useless, worthless, orga­nized lump of earth? 4. Is not thy soul thy most precious jewel, of more true worth and invaluable conse­quence to thee, then any thing in the world, then the whole world besides? Christ who best knew the souls true va­lue, said; What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mat. 16. 26. And wilt thou ha­zard this thy precious soul unto infer­nal torments for ever, for a few rot­ten pleasures of sin for a season?

Now then, O Natural man, think seriously of all these things. Dost thou believe them? Canst thou really be perswaded in thy conscience, that, living and dying in this thy Natural state, infernal torments for ever and ever will inevitably be thy portion? [Page 53] And is this a condition for thee to rest in? Is this a state wherein thou canst rejoyce, that art every day in danger to tumble headling into Hell? Is there so small a distance betwixt thee and Death eternal, even a short span or moment of a temporary life, and wilt thou not yet come out of Egypt? O, amend (saidDum potes emenda, dum tempus habes clama ad om­nipotentem Deum, dum da­tur spacium lu­ge, dum licen­tia est paenite­as, festina dum potes, dum ani­ma versatur in corpore, dum adhuc vivis futurum reme­dium require tibi prius, quam te profundum absorbeat Pelagus, & prius qu [...]m te malignus rapiat infernus, ubi nulla datur indulgentia, ubi nul­lus regreditur ad veniam. De qua paena pius nos Dominus eripere dignetur. Aug. de Sanctis Serm. 40. p. 1249, &c. Tom. 10. Basil. 1569. Augustine) while thou canst; cry to God Almighty while thou hast time; lament while thou hast space; repent while thou hast leave; make hast while thou canst, while thy soul is in thy bo­dy, while thou livest seek out for remedy, before the huge deep swallow thee up▪ and before that woful Hell snatch thee away, where there is no indulgence, whence none return to receive remission. From which punishment the gracious God vouchsafe to de­liver us. So he, pathetically.

IV. Direction.

DAily and deeply revolve in thy mind, How few they are that are effectually recovered out of their Natu­ral state of sin and misery, in compari­son of the innumerable multitudes that die and perish therein everlastingly. That this is so, is evident;

1. By the express words of our Blessed Saviour: Enter ye in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: How strait is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it, Mat. 7. 13, 14. What is this broad way leading to destru­ction, but the sinful and wretched way of the world, the flesh, and the Devil? Who are those many which go in there­at, but all those that live and die in their sinful and wretched state of Na­ture? What is that strait way leading unto life, but the way of God, by Christ, through faith? Who those few that find this strait way, but those that are converted from darkness to light, &c. Act. 26. 18. So then how few are the saved, in comparison of the multi­tudes that perish!

[Page 55] 2. By the paucity of those that were saved of old under the Old Testament, from the dayes of the first Adam, till the death of Jesus Christ the last Adam. For,

1. From Adam till Moses the Church of God was only domestical, confined within certain Families suc­ceeding one another, as within the Fa­milies of the 10 Patriarchs before the Flood, Adam, Seth, &c. and within the Families of the 12 Patriarchs after the Flood. Now during this time, which was above 2400 years, how few were recovered out of their sinful and wretched state of Nature! For, how few were within the Church of God, in comparison of them that were with­out? And those that were without the Church, and so died, may generally be supposed to have perished in their Natural state of sin and misery, [...] which were far the greatest number of the whole world. For, 1. When in the dayes of Noah, God brought the Flood of waters upon the old world, to de­stroy all flesh that breathed, Gen. 6. 13, &c. and 7. 21, 22, 23. the world of the ungodly, (as Peter stiles them, 2 Pet. 2. 5.) was drowned, when only one Family of Noah, in the whole world, consisting but of 8 souls, were saved [Page 56] in the Ark, Gen. 6. 18. and 7. 7. with 1 Pet. 3. 20. And of these 8 one was a wretched and cursed Cham, that mock­ed at his own Fathers nakedness, Gen. 9. 21, 22, 24, 25. 2. When God over­threw the Cities of Sodom, Gomorrha, Admah and Zeboim, he found not 10 righteous persons in all those Cities, for then he would have spared all for those tens sakes, Gen. 18. 32. Only 4 persons, viz. righteous Lot, with his Wife and 2 Daughters, escaped the dreadful showers of fire and brimstone, Gen. 19. 15, 16. And one of these 4, for looking back, viz. Lot's Wife, was turned into a pillar of salt; to season mens unsavoury lusts after worldly things, as Augustine Denique uxor Lot, ubi respexit, re­mansit, & in salem conversa hominibus fi­delibus quod­dam praestitit condimenium, quo sapiant a­liquid, unde il­lud caveatur exemplum. Aug. de Civit. Dei, lib. 14. ca. 30. Tom. 5. intimates. 3. In Iob's time (Iob is conceived to be of Abra­ham by Keturah, byGeneral view of the Holy Scriptures, Edit. 2. p. 126, &c. A work like H. Broughton's, perfected by T. Hayne. some; his de­scent and time is variously reported by others, as I have elsewhereSee in my Key of the Bible, on the Book of Iob, §. 4. shew­ed; but generally he is thought to have lived in the times of the Patriarchs by most) Satan had so over-run the whole earth, that none in the earth, (i. e. very few, or none in visible and con­spicuous manner) were found righteous, [Page 57] fearing God and eschewing evil, forsaking the Idols of Egypt, as Iob did, Iob 1. 1, 7, 8. and 2. 2, 3.

2. From Moses till Christs Death, the Church of God became National, but was confined only to one Nation, among all the Nations of the world, viz. the Nation of the Iews, which were not moe in number then any people, but the fewest of all people, Exod. 19. 5, 6. 1 Pet. 2, 9. Deut. 7. 6, 7. Therefore, few in comparison, were, during that time, recovered out of the state of sin and misery by nature. Salvation was only of the Iews, Joh. 4. 22. And of such few Proselytes of other Nations as came in and joyned themselves to the people of the God of Abraham, Psal. 47. 9. All others were as forreigners and strangers they, the Commonwealth of Israel, and houshold of God, Eph. 2. 12, 13, 19. All other were reputed no people, as having not obtained mercy; no special saving mercy, they, the people of the living God, that had obtained mercy, 1 Pet. 2. 9, 10. All others were accounted as dogs; they, the children, Mat. 15. 26.

And yet all the Jews were not plucked out of their Natural state of sin and misery▪ and saved. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel, Rom. 9. 6. And though the number of the [Page 58] children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved, Rom. 9. 27. A remnant is but a small number to the rest. Consider well; 1. All the men of Israel, able for war, from 20 years old and upwards, were numbred in the wilderness to be 603550, Numb. 1. 46, 47. besides the Levites; and all these, save Caleb and Ioshuah, for their unbe­lief and murmuring against God, and the promised Land, were destroyed in the wilderness, Numb 14 1, 2, &c. verse 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. to 39. 1 Cor. 10. 10. Heb. 3. 17, 18, 19. Iude 5. 2. Many of them also for their other wickedness were overthrown in the wilderness, 1 Cor. 10. 5. to 12. 3 In the dayes of the Iudges, they, even the generality of them fell away from Gods true Religion and worship, un­to heathenish Idolatries, and that fre­quently, therefore God often gave them up into the hands of several sorts of oppressors, Iudg. 2. 11. to 16. 4. In the dayes of Ieroboam, 10 Tribes of the 12 apostatized from God, and fell to the Idolatry of the Calves in Dan and Bethel, and at last were carried captive into Assyria for their wickedness; and the Scripture makes no mention of their return, 1 King. 12. 28. to the end, and 19. 14, 18. 2 King. 17. 3. [Page 59] to 24. 5. The two Tribes of Iudah and Benjamin remaining, grew very wicked from time to time, especially in the reigns of wicked Kings: inso­much that at last the face of all things in the Church was so corrupt, that both the King, Priests and people grew to such an height of impiety, that there was no remedy, and God gave them into the hand of the Chaldeans, who de­stroyed them without pity, and carri­ed them captive to Babylon, where they were in thraldom 70 years together, 2 Chron. 36. 11. to 22. 6. Many of the Jews after their return from the Baby­lonish Captivity, whereby they should have been reformed, fell into sundry offences in the dayes of Nehemiah, which he endeavoured to reform; as, most oppressive Usury, Neh 5. 7, &c. Prophanations of the Sabbath-day, Neh. 13. 15. to 23. Marriages with Wives of Ashdod, Ammon and Moab, Neh. 13. 23, &c. 7. Finally, In the dayes of Antiochus, the whole face of Religion was miserably corrupted, and the conscientious were cruelly persecuted, 1 Mac. 1. 45. to the end. And when our Blessed Saviour became incarnate, the whole affairs of Religi­on lay miserably prostrate and defaced. See Mat. 5. and 6, and 7, and 15, and 23.

[Page 60] Now, all these things Considered, How few can we rationally imagine to have been plucked out of their sinful and wretched state of Nature, when iniquity so abounded in the Church!

3. By the Scarcity of the Truth, Life, and Power of Godliness and Christianity, even in the Visible Chur­ches of Christ, now under the New Testament: the fewness of those that are effectually recovered out of their Natural state of Sin and misery may further appear. For,

1. In our Blessed Saviours dayes, as the Scribes and Pharisees had in a man­ner engrossed all Religion to them­selves, as is none were Religious but they, Luk. 18. 9. &c. Phil. 3. 5. Act. 26. 5. So the whole Religion of the Scribes and Pharisees stood in outward Forms, hypocritical appearan­ces, &c. Rather then in any sincere Realities, Math. 6. 2. 5. 16. and 15. 2. to 10. and 23, 2, to 8, 13. to 34. and therefore our Saviour tells his hea­rers plainly; That Except their Righte­ousness exceed the Righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees; they shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, Mat. 5. 20.

2. The Apostle Paul hath prophe­cied of perillous times to come in the [Page 61] last dayes, viz. That men shall cloak and shelter their many notorious abo­minations, under a form of Godliness, denying the Power thereof, 2 Tim. 3. 1 2, 3, 4, 5.

3. In the New Testament we are oft informed how rare and precious true Religion is. As, That, Christs flock is but a little flock, Luk. 12. 32. That, of the ten Virgins, the one half were foolish, having lamps of Profession, no Oil of Grace in them, Math. 25. 1. &c. That, in the flower of the Church, as there is Wheat, so there is Chaff, and more Chaff than Wheat, Mat. 3. 12. That, of four sorts of Hearers, there are three naught. Mat. 13. Luk. 8. And, that it is very observable, If out of the Visible Church you take away, All the notoriously Prophane, All the meer Moral and Civil honest men, All the gross Hypocrites whose hypocrisy half an eye may discern, all the privy close Hypocrites who know themselves to be Hypocrites, and all formal Hy­pocrites or Temporary believers that believe only for a time, Luk. 8. 13. Mat. 13. 20, 21. the Residue will be very few, in Comparison, that are plucked by the hand of Heaven out of their Natural state of Sin and misery, and thereby prepared for eternal feli­city.

V. Direction.

EArnestly and Effectually lay to heart, O Natural Man, How happy it would be for thy poor Soul, to he one of those few recovered out of the Sinful and wretched state of Nature; rather then one of those many that live and die and so perish therein eternally, Luk, 13. 24. Mat▪ 7. 13, 14.

O, do not follow a multitude to do evil, Exod. 23. 2. To walk according to the Course of this World; to do, as most do; to swim down the Common stream; &c, is the Natural man's way and de­light, Eph. 2. 1; 2, 3. But 'tis no safe way. The broad way hath most Company, but the worst issue, Destru­ction: The Narrow way hath fewest passengers, but the best Event, eternal life. Mat. 7. 13. 14. Will it not be infinitely better for thee, To be con­verted with afew, then to remain car­nal with a Multitude? To be Justified, adopted, acquitted at last day, and eternally saved with a few; rather then to be held guilty, cast out of Gods family, condemned at the last day, and eternally tormented with the greatest multitude? will it be any ease to thy [...], to be tormented with the [Page 63] greater Company: when the nume­rousness of the Tormented will but augment and aggravate one anothers torments? Oh it will be far happier for thee, to be in Abraham's bosom with one Lazarus, then to be tormented in infer­nal Flames with Dives and all his five bre­thren, Luk. 16. 23. 28. and with all the ungodly of the World.

VI. Direction

FUlly be convinced, O Natural Man, How impossible a thing it is for thee or for any of the Sons of Adam, to be effectually brought out of this Sinful and wretched state of Nature, into an holy and happy state of Grace, by any ability or sufficiency of our own, or by the Sole Assistance or influence of any meer Creature in the whole world.

This is a point of great Consequence. For clearing of it I shall endeavour to shew, 1, what Natural man cannot do for delivering himself out of his Sin­ful and wretched state of Nature. 2. What he can and ought to do, 3. How, for not doing, what he can and ought to do he shall justly perish for ever.

I, Natural man in order to his effectual [Page 64] Recovery out of his Sinful and wretched state of Nature, cannot do these things fol­lowing. O Natural man thou canst do none of these things, viz.

1. Thou canst not Circumcise thineheart from its natural filthiness, Deut. 30. 16. nor take away thine heart of Stone, canst not remove the natural hardness of thine heart in unbelief, impeniten­cy, and Sin: Nor free thy self from thy Death in Sins and trespasses. This is Gods peculiar work, Ezek. 36. 26. Eph 2. 1. 5.

2. Thou canst not furnish thy self with the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Grace, of Regeneration, of Renovation: nor with the Principle and Habits of Grace infused into the Soul, as Repentance unto Life, Faith unto Salvation, &c. These are not of ourselves, they are the proper Gifts of God, See Zech. 12. 10. Ezek 36. 26, 27. Act. 11. 18. and 5. 31. Eph. 2. 8.

3. Thou canst not Actuate, Exert and draw into Exercise the Principles and Habits of Divine Grace already infu­sed and instilled into thy Soul: but by Gods special assisting and Co-opera­ting Grace. Turn thou me, and I shall be turned,—Surely after that I was tur­ned, I repented—. Ier. 31. 18, 19. —It is God that worketh in us ( [...] both to will, and to do, of [Page 65] his good pleasur [...] ▪ Phil. 2. 13. Christ said;—without me ye can do nothing Ioh. 15. 5. Paul acknowledgeth;— not that we are [...]ufficient of our selves to think any thing as of our selves: but our sufficiency is of God. 2. Cor. 3. 5. Of God we must have Preventing Grace, that we may will: Subsequent Grace, that we may not will in vain. InGratia pr [...] ­veniens, qu [...] velimus: sub­sequens, nè frustra velimus. D. J. Prid­eaux. Lect. 3. de Grat. uni­versali. §. 4. p. 39. Augustines judge­ment, they are most sharply and vehe­mently to be resisted, who think, that without the help of God, by the very force of Humane will, they are able either to perfect righteousness, or to profit in tending thereunto. And else­where he speaks notably of Gods Pre­venting and following Grace;—He prevents us, that we may be healed: He will follow us, that being healed we may grow. He prevents us, that we may be cal­led: He follows us, that we may be glorified. He prevents us, that we may live piously: He follows us, that we may live with him perpetually. For, without him we can do nothing. Miseri­cordia ejus praevenit nos. Praevenit au­tem, ut sane­mur: quia & subsequetur ut etiam Sanati vegetemur. Praevenit ut vocemur, subsequetur ut Glorificemur. Praevenit ut piè vivamus, subsequetur ut cum illo semper vivamus, quia s­ne illo nihil possumus facere. August. lib. de Natura & Gra­tia contra Pelagianos. cap. 32. Tom. 7.

6. Thou canst not subdue the reign and dominion of thy sins, casting them as into the depths of the Sea, mortifying them [Page 66] and crucifying them, Mi [...]. 7. 19. Rom. 8. 13. Gol. 3. 5. Nor canst thou finally purge and cleanse thy self so compleat­ly from all incident corruption, that neither spot nor wrinckle nor any such thing may remain. Eph. 5. 25, 26, 27. These are the singular works of God and of Jesus Christ by his Spirit, with, or without the means of Grace.

4. Thou canst not by any power of thine own, or by the help of any creature, Come unto Christ, so as to accept him for thine only Saviour; nor by Christ unto God, as thy God in Covenant: Except God himself, the Father of Je­sus Christ draw thee. Ioh. 6. 44. But if he please effectually to draw thee, to draw thy mind, thy Conscience, T [...]y will, Thine Heart and Affections, then thou shalt not only come to him, but even run after him. Cant 1. 4.

5. Thou canst not of thy self seriously and sincerely, so as thereby to please God, so much as will or desire Jesus Christ, and God in him, in order to thine eternal happiness. For, 'Tis God that works in us to will as well as to do, Phil. 2. 13. 'Tis Gods Spirit that puts de­sires and groans into the heart: For, we know not what to pray for as we ought, what to will or desire as we ought, &c. Rom. 8. 26. 27.

[Page 67] 2. Finally, Thou canst not of thyself do that which may be acceptable unto God, nor bring forth fruit unto God, without Christs special influence and assistance. Ioh. 15. 4, 5. Philip. 2. 13.

Now then, O Natural man, seeing these things are utterly beyond the sphear of thine activity, 1. Presume not that thou canst be thine own Savi­our or Deliverer out of thy Sinful and wretched state of Nature, by any V­niversal Grace or Freedom of will. 2. But deny thy self and all thy self-sufficien­cies in this point utterly. 3. Seek for Recovery out of thy Natural state of Sin and misery, from the omnipotent God alone.

II. A meer Natural man, notwithstan­ding, is able to do many things and he ought to do them, in order to his Recovery out of his Sinful and wretched state of Nature. O thou Natural man God hath furni­shed thee with sundry Talents impro­vable in some measure to this End: These thou must not hide in a Napkin, or bury in the Earth▪ but oughtest to im­prove to the uttermost. Mat, 25. 14, to 31. with Luk. 19. 12. to 28. Par­ticularly,

1. Thou art able to consider of many things very conducible to thy Recove­ry out of thy Natural state, Ezek. 18. [Page 68] 27▪ 28. Luk 15. 17. &c. These thou shouldst take into serious Considerati­on. As, 1. That thy Natural state is most Sinful and wretched, as was ma­nifested. 2. That Every one living and dying in his Natural state, shall ever­lastingly perish without remedy. Mat. [...]8. 3. Ioh. 3. 3. 5. and 8. 24. Act. 4. 11, 12. 3. That no man can effe­ctually and fully rescue himself out of his Natural state, by his own ability, Ioh. 1. 12. Phil. 2. 13. Eph. 2. 1. 5. 4. That, now as during this present life, man is to be recovered out of his Na­tural Condition, or never. 2 Cor. 6. 1. 2. Ecles. 9. 10. Heb. 9. 27. 5. That thy Soul is most precious: and no Treasures of this world, no Pleasures of Sin, no Pinacle of Earthly Honours, can countervail the loss of thy Soul, Mat. 16. 26.

2. Thou art able in some measure, to search, prove, and examine thy state and wayes, so as to be convinced of the badness of them, and danger of Conti­nuing in them, 2 Cor. 13. 5. Lam. 3. 39. 40.

3. Thou hast ability, upon discovery of thy Sinful, wretched, and dangerous Condition, to humble thy self deeply in the sight of God, for it. Manasses in chains, did it, 2 Chron. 33. [...]1, 12. The Prodigal in misery resolved it▪ Luk. 15. 17. 18. 19.

[Page 69] 4. Thou canst confess thine iniquities; upon Conviction vilest offendors have done it, as, Acham, Iosh. 7. 20. 21. King Pharaoh, Exod. 10. 16. 17. King Saul, 1 Sam. 15. 24. Judas, Mat. 27. 3, 4, 5.

5. Thou mayst in some sort forsake and turn from many iniquities: though not sincerely, nor from all entirely. Herod for a while did forbear to put John Baptist to death, though he mor­tally hated him for Her [...]dias sake, Mat. 14. 3. to 13. Haman vexed extreamly at Mordicai's not bowing, yet refrai­ned himself from present Revenge, Est. 5. 9. 10. Pharisees abstained from many outward gross sins, Luk. 18. 11. Saul, whilst a Pharisee, was touching the law blameless, Phil. 3. 6. Iudas lived so inoffensively among the Apostles, that when Christ declared that one of them should betray him, none suspe­cted Judas more then themselves, Mat. 26, 21. to 26. Ioh. 13. 21, 22, 23.

6. Thou art able to attend upon, and make use of, all the outward means of grace, ordinary and extraordinary. Meer Natural men, carnal men, have done thus much heretofore, and such may do the like hereafter. Canst not thou, O Natural man, hear the Word of God preached? when the three bad [Page 70] grounds, the three sorts of bad hear­ers did, Mat. 13. 19, &c. When Herod heard Iohn Baptist gladly, Mar. 6. 20. When Scribes and Pharisees heard Christ, Mat. 21. 45. When Iudas heard Jesus preach often. When Si­mon Magus heard Philip preaching, Act. 8. 12, 13. Canst not thou partake the Sacraments? when Simon the Sor­cerer was baptized, Act. 8. 13. When the Corinthians came to the Lords Sup­per, though many unworthily, and smarted for it, 1 Cor. 11. 29, 30. Could they not have come better? Canst not thou pray after a sort? when the Ma­riners in [...] Ionas's ship prayed in the storm, Ionah 1. 5, 6. When Pharisees pray, Mat. 6. 5. and Luk. 18. 10, &c. Canst not thou sanctifie the Sabbath-day? when Scribes and Pharisees were so zealous against the breach and pro­phanation of the Sabbath, Mat. 12. 1, 2. Ioh. 5 16, 18. Canst not thou humble thy self with fasting? when Ahab did it, 1 King. 21. 27, 28. When the Hea­then City Nineveh did it, Ionah 3. 5. to 10. When Pharisees did it often, Luk. 18. 10. 11. &c.

7. Finally, Thou canst O natural man, do much good, perform many religious Exercises and Christian du­ties, as our hearing reaped much Spi­ritual [Page 71] Benefit by the means of Grace. What other meer Natural men have done, thou maist do. As,

(1.) Thou maist give much Alms to the poor. So did the carnal Pharisees, Mat. 6. 1, 2. So the blinded Pa­pists.

(2.) Thou maist show much kindness and favour to Gods people, to Chri­stians, &c. So did Cyrus to the Jews, Ezra 1. 1, 2. Artaxerxes to Ezra, Ezra 7. 11. to 27. Ahashuerus to Mor­decai and the Jews, Esth. 6. and 7. and 8. and 9. and 10. So Maximinus the Emperour, under Gods heavy judgements, his bowels rotting, in­numerable worms crawling from him, &c. ceased his cruel persecutions of Christians, and made a Law for their peace, liberty and publick meet­ings.Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. 8. cap. 27, 28, 29.

(3.) Thou maist have Gods faithful Ministers in high esteem, maist reve­rence them, and hear them gladly. As Ioash did Iehoiadah, 2 Chron. 24. 2, 4, &c. Herod did Iohn Baptist, Mar. 6. 20. Simon Magus did Philip, Act. 8. 13. And as the Officers of the chief Priests and Pharisees sent to take Christ, were wonderfully taken with Christ, Joh. 7. 32, 45, 46.

(4) Thou maist desire the prayers of [Page 72] Gods Ministers and people for thee. As Pharaoh desired the prayers of Moses and Aaron, Exod. 9. 27, 28. and 10. 16, 17, 18. King Ieroboam desired the prayers of the man of God for his wi­thered hand, 1 King. 13. 4, 6. And Simon Magus begg'd the prayers of Pe­ter and the Apostles for himself, that the evils feared might not come upon him, Act. 28. 24.

(5.) Thou maist wish thy self in as happy a condition, especially in death, as Gods people. So did Balaam, Numb. 23. 10. And maist not only wish, but pray to God. So did the Pharisees, Mat. 6. 5. and 23. 14. Luk. 18. 10.

(6.) Thou maist profess the Christian Faith and Religion. So did the five foolish Virgins, who had lamps, Mat. 25. 3, &c. Simon Magus, Act. 8. 13. Ana­nias and Saphira his Wife, Act. 5. 1. to 11. And Iulian the Emperour for a season, but afterwards became a woful Apostate, and cruel persecutor of Christians.Theod. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 25.

Yea, thou maist believe for a time, as the Hearers resembled to the rocky or stony ground, are said to do, Luk. 8. 13.

(7.) Thou maist also proceed to pra­ctice, and do many things. As did [Page 73] Herod, Mar. 6. 20. Nay, what can a true Christian do, but an hypocrite (who is the Christians Ape) may imi­tate it? Yea, the Natural man may seem to do, with much zeal and affe­ction. The stony ground heard with joy, Mat. 13. 20, 21. How zealous seemed Ioash about repairing of the Temple? 2 Chron. 24. 4, &c. And Iehu in root­ing out of Ahab's house, and destroy­ing of Baal's Idolatry out of Israel? 2 King. 10. 16, &c.

III. These things the Natural man may do, and ought to do, in order to his recove­ry out of his Natural state of sin and mise­ry. Thou therefore, O Natural man, if thou dost not these things which thou canst do, and oughtst to do, in order to thy reco­very, (though neither these things, nor any thing else which thou canst do, is sufficient) thou shalt justly perish in thy sinful and wretched state of Nature for evermore. For,

1. All these abilities which God hath furnished thee withall, what are they but as so many Talents wherewith the Lord hath betrusted thee, that thou shouldst imploy them to thy Lord and Master's honour, and thine own eter­nal benefit? Mat. 25. 14. to 31. Luk. 19. 12, 13. Now Talents are not to be buried in the earth, or hid in a Napkin.

[Page 74] 2. A day of account will certainly come, when God will reckon with eve­ry one, how they have imploy'd their talents, Mat. 25. 19, &c. and happy those souls that shall be able to give a good and clear account at that day.

3. He that diligently and fruitfully imploys his talents received, is in the ready way of having his talents and gifts augmented, Mat. 25. 28, 29. Mar. 4. 25. Mat. 13. 12. Luk. 8. 18. He that faithfully doth what he is able, shall be enabled to do much more.

4. If thou dost not in order to thy recovery what thou art able to do, thou wilt be found willingly, if not wilfully, guilty of thine eternal perdi­tion in thy Natural state of sin and mi­sery, Ezek 18. 31. and 33. 11. Ah! what a crying sin is murder? Gen. 41. 10. What a roaring sin then is self-murder, wilful self-murder both of body and soul for ever?

5. Finally, If thou dost not to­wards thy recovery what thou art able, if thou improvest not thy talents what thou canst, God will account thee an unprofitable, a slothful and wicked servant, will cause thy talent to be taken from the, and thy self to be cast into out­er darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Mat. 25. 26, 28, 30.

[Page 75] Now go, O Natural man, do to the utmost thou art able towards the rescuing of thy self from thy sinful and wretched state of Nature, else thou' [...]t be guilty of thine own eternal destru­ction. And yet when thou hast done all thou art able, all this will not fully and compleatly effect thy recovery.

VII. Direction.

GReat cause thou hast then, O Na­tural man, upon all these forego­ing Considerations, deeply to humble thy self before the LORD, for this thy sinful and wretched state of Nature, wherein thou remainest even until this very day. Luk. 15. 17, 18, 19, 21.

I. Hast thou not causes, more then enough, to humble thy self deeply before the Lord for this thy sinful and wretched state of Nature, wherein thou still remainest? For, Consider;

1. While thou art in this state of Na­ture, thou art in the state of damnati­on, Ioh. 3. 18, 36. Eph. 2. 1, 2, 3. And thou art posting apace to the place of execution, as fast as the wings of spee­dy time can carry thee? And wilt thou go laughing to Hell? Thou art con­demned [Page 76] already, Joh. 3. 18. And will any condemned malefactor go merrily to the place of execution? Was it not Agag's folly to come in delicately to Sa­muel, as if the bitterness of death had been past, when he was presently to be hew­ed in pieces before the LORD? 1 Sam. 15. 32, 33. Art thou on the very pits brink of eternal perdition, and but a small puff of breath betwixt thee and Hell, and dost thou not tremble? Doth not thine heart ake? Is not thy soul round-beset with sorrow, even unto death?

2. While thou art un-humbled under this thy sinful and wretched state of Nature, thou continuest an un-cured, yea an unconvinced sinner. (1.) An un-cured sinner. For, humiliation usually precedes and procures reforma­tion: As in Manasses, 2 Chron. 33. 12. to 17. In the Prodigal, Luk. 15. 17. to 22. In the penitent woman, Luk. 7. 37, 38, &c. In Saul, Act. 9. 6, &c. In Peter's Hearers, Act. 2. 37, &c. And in most. Bruising prepares for healing; wounding for binding up, Luk 4. 18. Burdening makes way for easing, Mat. 11. 28. Godly sorrow works repentance not to be repented of, 2 Cor. [...]. 10. (2.) Yea an un-convinced sinner. [...]or, humiliation, as it makes way for [Page 77] reformation, so it presupposeth a pre­vious conviction. So then, convicti­on works humiliation, humiliation inclines to reformation. O do not thou still continue an un-cured sinner, yea an un-convinced sinner, by re­maining an un-humbled sinner.

3. Thine humiliation before the LORD for thy sinful and wretched condition, will prove, A grateful sa­crifice to God, A gainful exercise to thee. 1. A grateful sacrifice to God. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise, Psal. 51. 17. See 2 Chron. 33. 12, 13. and 15. 6, 7. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be com­forted, Mat. 5. 4. Bruised and broken hearts are fit cures for Christ, Luk 4. 18. Isa. 61. 1, 2. Yea, when sinners lament and grieve for their sins, Hea­ven is filled with joy, Luk. 15. 7, 10. Fletus peccatorum, triumphus Angelorum, Sinners tears, are the very triumph of An­gels. 2. A gainful exercise to thee. Humiliation for thy sinful state, (1.) Will help thee to a deeper sense of thy sinfulness and wretchedness. As blots run abroad, and appear far larger, in wet paper. (2.) Will somewhat comfort thee, in that thou beginnest to mourn for that wherein [Page 78] thou didst formerly rejoyce; and to hate what thou didst formerly love, &c. (3.) Will notably prepare thee to true repentance and recovery, 2 Cor. 7. 10.

II. But when thou humblest thy self be­fore God for thy sinful and wretched Natural state, humble thy self rightly, viz.

1. Humble thy self secretly,Ille dolet verè, qui sine teste dolet. se­riously and sincerely, without hypo­crisie. Not as once Ahab of old did, 1 King. 21. 27, 29. Nor as usually the hypocritical Pharisees were wont to do, and after them, the Papists in their fastings, Mat. 6. 16. Only for­mally: But as penitent Manasseh did, 2. Chron. 33. 11, 12. As the praying Publican did, Luk 18. As the re­penting Prodigal did, Luk. 15. As the relenting Woman did, Luk. 7. Cordially and really.

2. Humble thy self unto deepest self-loathing and self abhorrency. Con­sider the infinite holiness of God, Isa. 6. 3. Hab. 1. 13. The wonderful puri­ty and perfection of his Word, Psal. 119. 140, 96. And thine own extream sinfulness, utterly repugnant unto both, Rom. 5. 12. Psal. 51. 5. Ioh. 3. 6. Rom. 3. 9. to 19. Eph. 2. 1, 2, 3. And then loath thy self, and even abhor thy self as in dust and ashes, Ezek. [Page 79] 36. 31. Iob 42. 6. accounting thy self, with humbled Paul, chief of sinners, 1 Tim. 1. 15.

3. Humble thy self so for thy sins, as to labour and be heavy laden with them, and quite weary of them, Mat. 11. 28. Be so pricked and wounded in heart for them, as to cry out to Gods messen­gers, Men and brethren what shall I do? Act. 2. 36, 37. Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Act. 16. 30. True humiliation for sin, will make thee earnestly long and desire to be rid of sin.

4. Humble thy self reformingly. So as to repent and turn from thine ini­quities unto God. As did Manasseh, 2 Chron. 33. 12, &c. As did Saul, Act. 9. 6, 11, 20. That's right humiliati­on that works reformation. That's true godly-sorrow indeed, that works repentance not to be repented of, 2 Cor. 7. 10.

5. Humble thyself Continually, till thy God exalt thee and lift thee up with Comfort, and restore thee from thy Sinful and wretched state of Na­ture, into an holy and happy state of Grace. The Sinful woman never cea­sed hmbling herself at Christs feet, and washing his feet with tears; till Christ comforted her, and told her that her Sins, which were many, were forgiven [Page 80] her, Luk. 7. 47, 48. The Prodigal ceased not confessing his sin and hum­bling himself for it to his Father, as no more worthy to be called his Son: till the father called for the best robe to be put upon him, and expressed many o­ther most affectionate acts of a most tender paternal love unto him. Luk. 15. 21. to 25.

VIII. Direction.

HOwever thou art by Nature, O Na­tural man, in a most Sinful and wretched state, and hast remained there­in from thy very Birth unto this day, for which thou hast cause to be abased to the very dust: yet know thou for thy Com­fort, thy Case is not Desperate, there is Hope in Israel concerning this; God hath in this valley of Achor, in this valley of trouble, opened a door of Hope for thee, and of his mee [...] love and mer­cy hath Revealed in his Covenant of Faith in Christ, a way how thou mayst be recovered out of this thy sinful and wretched state of Nature, into an Ho­ly and Happy state of Grace; and how all Gods Elect, though lapsed in the first Adam, may be restored in a se­cond [Page 81] Adam, Tit. 3. 4, 5, 6, 7. Gal. 3. 21, 22. Rom. 3. 20, 21, 22. 26, 27.

I shall Illustrate this further to thy singular encouragement and comfort, O Natural man, in certain distinct Po­sitions. viz.

1. The LORD God, of the meer good pleasure of his will, according to his eternal Purpose which he purpo­sed in himself, elected a certain num­ber out of mankind unto himself, to the Adoption of children, that they should be holy and without blame before him in love, to the praise of the Glory of his Grace. Ephes. 1. 4, 5, 6.

2, Though the only wise and righ­teous God (who can bring good Tanta quippe est om­nipotens ejus bonitas, ut eti­am de malis possit facere bona, sive ig­nos [...]endo, sive sanando, sive ad utilitates piorum coap­ando atque vertendo, sive etiam justissi­mè vindicando. Omnia namque ista bona sunt, & Deo bono atque Omnipotenti dig­nissima, nec tamen fiunt nisi de malis. Quid igitur melius, quid Om­nipotentius eo, qui cum mali nihil faciat, benè etiam de malis fa­cit? Aug. de Continent. lib. Cap. 6. p. 995. C. Tom. 4. Ba­sil. 1569. out of c­vil: Else he could not suffer it to be) per­mitted Adam, the common Root of Mankind; and in him, as in his loins, all mankind; and among them all his elect; to fall into Sin and misery, for the greater manifestation of the sur­passing glory of his Freedom, Mercy, and Justice towards mankind: yet hath he not cast away his people whom he foreknew, nor left his Elect to [Page 82] perish in that lapsed state, but hath most graciously and wisely contri­ved a way, how all his Elect shall be recovered out of this state of Sin and misery into a state of Holiness and Hap­piness for evermore. Compare Mat. 10. 29. 30. Act. 2. 23. and 4. 27. with Gen. 3. 1. &c. Rom. 5, 12, 13, 14. Rom. 11. 2. Ephes. 1. 4. to 12. Col. 1. 19, 20.

3. God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, was pleased to contrive lapsed man's Recovery, out of the exceeding riches of his meer Grace and mercy. Eph. 1. 3. to 12. and 2. 4 to 10.

Nothing at all foreseen in lapsed man could move or encline God at all, to Contrive his Restitution, Eph. 2. 8, 9. Tit. 3. 4, 5, 6, 7.

4. Gods Contriving of lapsed mans Recovery, is rendered a Divine fa­vour so much the more eminent and singularly illustrious, in that God would not vouchsafe the like favour to the lapsed Angels, though by Nature they were far more Noble and Excel­lent Creatures, Compare Psal. 8. 4, 5. with Heb. 2. 16.

Angels fellvide Au­gustinum. lib. de fide, ad Pe­trum. Diacon. C. 3. p. 221. A. B. from their happy state, by their own free will without other se­ducement, and found no mercy: Man fell through the malicious and subtile [Page 83] Seducement of that old Serpent the Devil, and found mercy.

5. Our ever blessed God hath, im­mediately upon the fall of man; and afterwards from age to age in diverse remarkable periods of time, revealed in his precious Promises and second Cove­nant, the Covenant of Faith, enlarged more and more till it came to be most compleat in his New Covenant, his most Gracious purpose and pleasure of Re­storing lapsed man again from his state of Sin and misery. As these, and like Scriptures do abundantly testifie; viz. with Adam Gen, 3. 15. Noah, Gen. 6. 18. 22. with Heb. 11. 7. Abram, Gen. 12. 2, 3. with 15. 9. to the end. and 17. 1. to 15. and 22. 15, 16, 17, 18. Israel, Deut. 5. 2. to 22. with Exod. 20. 1, 2. &c. and 24 4. to 9. David, 2 Sam. 7. 11. to 17. and 23. 5. with Psal. 89 3. &c. and 132. 11. &c. with the Jews captived in Babylon. Ezek. 34. 20. 23, 24, 25. and 36. 24. to the end, and 37. 1. 21. to the End. Ier. 32. 1. 2. 3. 36. to the end. Fi­nally, in the New Covenant in Christ exhibited, the height and top- Turret of all Gods Covenant-Expressures with his people, Ier. 31. 31. to 35. with Heb. 8. 6. to the end of the chapter. All which Covenant-Expressures I have elsewhere In my Treat. of Gods Cove­nants with man, &c. London prin­ted An. Dom. 1657. at large explained, which the dili­gent [Page 84] Reader may peruse.

6. Our most gracious God reveal­ing his good pleasure in his second Cove­nant, the Covenant of Faith, for lapsed man's restauration, hath opened a door of hope, of life and salvation for him, who before was in an hopeless, despe­rate, dead and damnable condition. For such was the condition of Adam, and of all mankind in him, after his Fall, until the seed of the woman was promised to bruise the Serpents head. Compare Gen. 2. 16, 17. with Gen. 3. 6, 7. and 15. Rom. 5. 12. And until Natural man lay hold upon this promise, and this seed of the woman, (which is our hope, 1 Tim. 1. 1.) by believing, he re­mains hopeless still, Eph. 2. 12.

7. Gods mysterious contrivance of lapsed mans recovery from his sinful and wretched state of Nature, brought upon mankind by the breach of the Co­venant of works, Gen. 2. 16, 17. Rom. 5. 12. and 6. 23. And revealing this his recovery in a gratuitous Covenant of Faith, which Faith he promiseth by his Spirit to work in them, Rom. 3. 27. Ezek. 36. 26, 27. Luk. 11. 13. Eph. 2. 8. Gal. 5. 22. is a mercy of mercies utter­ly beyond all blessing and praise, that the creature can present unto the LORD.

IX. Direction.

JEsus Christ, the alone eternal Son of God, who in the fulness of time became perfect man, is the only meri­torious mean and way, by whom lapsed man can be recovered and redeemed out of his Natural state of sin and misery, into a supernatural state of grace and glory. Compare Act. 18. 28. Ioh. 1. 41, 45. Mat. 16. 16. Gal. 4. 4, 8. Mat. 1. 20, 21. with Luk. 2. 10. 1 Tim. 1. 15. Iob. 3. 16, 17. Rom. 5. 6, 8, 9, 10. and with Act. 4. 11, 12. 1 Tim. 1. 5.

Consider here, 1. Who and what the Recoverer of lapsed man is. 2. That this Jesus Christ is the merito­rious mean of lapsed man's recovery. 3. That this Jesus Christ is the only meritorious mean of lapsed man's re­covery.

I. Who, and what the Recoverer of lap­sed man is. He is Jesus Christ, the alone eternal Son of God, who in the fulness of time became perfect man. Here note, 1. The Names. 2. The Natures of Christ in one Person. His Names, point out, 1. His Office. Iesus, denotes a Saviour. 2. His qua­lification for this Office. Christ, sig­nifies [Page 86] Annointed, Psal. 45. 7. His Na­tures, Divine and Humane, declare both his matchless suitableness, and sufficiency for the effectual discharge of his Office.

1. His Names here expressed are two; Iesus, Christ. The first is a He­brew Name; The second Greek. He came to redeem and save both Iews and Greeks, Jews and Gentiles.

(1). Iesus. He was so called at his Circumcision on the eighth day, Luk. 2. 21. He was so named by the Angel be­fore he was conceived in the womb, Luk. 2. 21. Mat 1. 21, 25. Iesus, i. e. A Sa­viour. That's his Office. A most sweet and acceptable Office. Reasons why he was called Iesus, a Saviour, and in what sort he saves, I have else­where In my Treatise of Gods Cove­nants, Book 4. Chap 6. Aphorism 2. p. 1571, 1572. Lond. 1657. explained. There see.

(2.) CHRIST, i. e. Annointed. This Greek name is of the same signifi­cation with the Hebrew name Messi­ah, Act. 4. 26. from Psal. 2. 2. The New Testament appropriates this Name to him, Luk. 2. 26. Ioh. 4. 25. Mat. 1. 1, 16, 18. and 16. 16, 20. He was so called, because he was annointed with the Holy Ghost, that oyl of gladnest above all his fellows, and thereby design­ed and qualified for his Office, as I have elsewhereIbid. p. 1582. to p. 1589. showed. As also, [Page 87] That this Jesus is the true CHRIST, the promised Messiah, by ten Argu­ments.

2. His Natures in one Person are two, viz. 1. Divine, and 2. Hu­mane.

(1.) He is God, the alone eter­nal Son of God, Mat. 16. 15, 16. Ioh. 1. 14, 18. and 3. 16, 18. 1 Ioh. 4. 9. Heb. 1. 2, 3. The Names, Attributes, works and worship, which peculiarly belong to God, are ascribed to him; as else­where Ibid. p. 1572, 1573, 1574. I have manifested.

(2.) He is man. The man Christ Iesus, 1 Tim. 1. 5. The Son of man, Joh. 6. 27. The Son of David, the Son of Abraham, Mat. 1. 1. The Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of the House and linage of David, Luk. 1. 27, &c. and 3. 23, 24, &c. and 2. 4, 5, 6, 7, &c. 21.

And this Jesus Christ is God and Man in one Person, Ioh. 1. 14. Gal. 4. 4. 1 Tim, 3. 16. Of, 1. His fitness to become Man: 2. The Union be­twixt his two Natures: 3. The One­ness of his Person: 4. And why it was necessary he should be God and Man: 5. The Similitudes illustrating this Union: And 6. The effects or consequents resulting from it. Of all these, see what I have at large laid down elsewhere.Ibid. [...]. 1577 to 158 [...].

[Page 88] II. That this IESVS CHRIST God-man, is the meritorious Mean of lap­sed man's Recovery. This will be evi­denced abundantly many wayes, viz.

1. By the many Promises of Christ, under the Old Testament, as the Re­storer and Recoverer of lapsed sinners. As, Gen. 3. 15. Gen. 12. 3. and 26. 4. with Gal. 3. 16. Psal. 110. 1, &c. Isa. 9. 6, 7. and 11. 1. to 10. and 42. 1. to 10. and 53. 4. to the end: and 55. 1, 2, 3, 4. and 61. 1. to 4. Dan. 9. 24, 25, 26. Act. 10. 43.

2. By the many Types of Christ, re­presenting him as a Redeemer, Resto­rer and Deliverer of his people. Mo­ses and Aaron, Types of Christ, as de­livering Israel out of Egypt, Act. 7. 37, 38. The Judges and Kings, Types of Christ, as saving Israel from their enemies, Iudg. 16 30. Psal. 2. The Sa­crifices slain, and their blood shed and sprinkled, Types of Christ, who by his death and blood should expiate our offences, &c. Heb. 9. 9. to the end. and 10. 1. to 19.

3. By the many Names and Titles given unto Christ, clearly declaring him to be the eminent Medium or Mean of lapsed man's Recovery. He is to this end stiled,

A Mediator betwixt God and [Page 89] man, 1 Tim. 2. 5. Heb. 9. 15.

A Redeemer, Isa. 59. 20. Rom. 11. 26. Redemption, 1 Cor. 1. 30.

A Ransom for many, 1 Tim. 2. 6.

A Sacrifice for sin, offered once for ever, Heb. 10. 12.

A Propitiation for our sins, and for the sins of the whole world, 1 Joh. 2. 2. A Propitiation through faith in his blood, Rom. 3. 25.

A Reconciler of the world to God, 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19, 20. We are reconciled to God, when we were enemies, by the death of his Son, Rom. 5. 10. By whom we have received the Atonement, Rom. 5. 11.

The Lamb of God, taking away the sins of the world, Joh. 1. 29.

The Deliverer, that shall come out of Sion, and turn away ungodliness from Ia­cob, Rom. 11. 26.

A Saviour, which is Christ the LORD, Luk. 2. 11. Who came into the world to save sinners, 1 Tim. 1. 15. Able to save to the uttermost, Heb. 7. 25. The chief Captain (or Arch-duke) of our sal­vation, Heb. 2. 10.

An Advocate with the Father, 1 Joh. 2. 1, 2. With divers such like Denominations.

4. By the many saving benefits which he hath meritoriously obtained and purchased of God for us, by his [Page 90] obedience, sufferings and death. As,

Satisfaction to Gods justice for our sins, Eph. 5. 2. Heb. 10. 5. to 22. 1 Tim. 2. 6.

Redemption from all our spiritual bondage. Eternal Redemption, Heb. 9. 12.

Reconciliation to God, Rom. 5. 10, 11. 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19, 20.

Adoption into Gods Family, Gal. 4. 4, 5, 6.

Remission of sins, and Justifica­tion, Eph. 1. 7. Rom. 3. 25. Heb. 9. 14. and 10. 12, 14, 17, 18.

Mortifying and crucifying of our old man, Rom. 6. 6, 7.

Conquering of death, and him that (as an Executioner) had the power of death, that is, the Devil, Heb. 2. 14, 15. Col. 2. 14, 15.

Appearing for us, as our Advo­cate, by representing the merit of his blood in Heaven, Heb. 9. 24. and 7. 25. 1. Ioh. 2 1, 2.

Making a new and living way for us, through the vail of his flesh, which was rent with sufferings, by his own blood, into the holiest of all Heaven it self, Heb. 10. 19, 20.

III. That this Iesus Christ is the only Mediator, the only Saviour of sinnetrs, [Page 91] the only meritorious Mean of lapsed mans Recovery out of his Sinful and wretched state of Nature. There is one Mediator be­twixt God and man, the man Christ Iesus, 1 Tim. 2. 5. Neither is there Salvation in any other: For there is none other Name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved, Act. 4. 12.

Direct. X.

KNow also, O Natural Man, That Iesus Christ hath wrought Reco­very and obtained Redemption for lap­sed man from his sinful and wretched State of Nature into an Holy and Hap­py State of Grace, As he is God-man; Testator, Surety and Mediator of the New Testament, Executing his Medi­atory office to this End as Prophet Priest and King both in his State of Humiliation and Exaltation.

The former Direction shows that Jesus Christ, and he alone, is Sinful man's Recoverer: This declares, How and in what way he hath Effected and obtained man's Recovery and Redem­ption. In an abstruse and most mysteri­ous way. viz.

1. As he is God-man in one Person. [Page 92] This I have elsewhereIn my Treat. of Gods Cove­nants. Book. 4. c. 6. p. 1574, to 1589. and 1593. to 1598. abundantly cleared. There see.

2. As he is Testator, Surety, and Medi­ator of the New Testament, or New Covenant. This also see elsewhereIbid. p. 1599 to p. 1641. explicated and Confirmed, for brevity sake.

3. As he Executed his Mediatory of­fice in a Prophetical, Priestly, (where his Satisfaction to Gods justice for our sins is at large handled pag. 1607. to 1618.) and Kingly way, both in his state of Hu­miliation and Exaltation. All these I have elsewhereIbid. p. 1599. to 1641. cleared. Consult the place: that I may not actum agere. Whereby I hope you will not lose your labour.

Direct. XI.

LEt this sink deep into shine heart, O Natural man, That this Iesus Christ, God-man, the only Mediator and Saviour's Most able, and Most willing [...] Receive and Save all Lapsed Sinners that come unto him, and to God by him.

1. Iesus Christ is most able and suffici­ent to save all unto the Uttermost that Come unto God by him. Heb. 7. 25. Mat. [...]8. 18. &c. Col. 1. 19. He is not [Page 93] an impotent, but an omnipotent Saviour, Rev. 1. 8. whether we regard his Per­son, or Office.

2. Iesus Christ is most willing to save all that come unto him. Both these I have already demonstrated.Ibid. p. 1662. to 1665. Con­sult them there at large, to avoid pro­lixity here.

Direct. XII.

MArk well, notwithstanding, O Natural man, That there's a vast difference betwixt Christs obtain­ing of Redemption and Recovery for lapsed man: and Christs applying of that obtained Recovery and Redempti­on so lapsed man. Betwixt these, there are two great differences.

1. Christ hath obtained eternal Re­demption for us immediately by his own Person, and the merit of his obe­dience, Heb. 1. 3. and 9. 12. Eph. 5. 2. 1 Tim. 2. 5, 6. Eph. 1. 7, 8. Christ ap­plies this obtained Redemption to us immediately by his Spirit, effectually working Faith and all saving grace in us, that so we may close with Christ, have union to him, and communion with him. Tit. 3. 4, 5, 6, 7. Eph. 2. 8, 9.

[Page 94] Gal. 5. 22. Ezek. 36. 26, 27. Deut. 30. 6. Eph. 1. 13, 14. 1 Ioh. 5. 12. 1 Cor. 1. 30.

2. Christ hath obtained Recovery and Redemption for his Elect joyntly, in fulness of time, by his blood, Gal. 4. 4, 5. Eph. 1. 3. to 9. The vertue of his sufferings extending it self to them all from the beginning to the end of the world: As the Sun in the Meridian line, in the fulness of the day, diffu­seth his light, heat and influence back­wards towards the East, as well as for­ward towards the West. Eph 1. 10. Col 1. 20. But Christ applies this Reco­very and Redemption which he hath wrought and purchased, in due time to his Elect severally, as he calls them par­ticularly unto the fellowship of his Son, 1 Cor. 1. 9. 2 Thes. 2. 13, 14. And he calls some in their youth, some in their manly-age, some (though ve­ry few) in their old age: some at the third hour, some at the sixth, some at the ninth, and some at the eleventh hour of their day, Mat. 20. 1. to 17.

Direct. XIII.

NO Sinner in the world can actu­ally have any saving share or inte­rest at all in the Redemption or Reco­very which Christ hath fully obtained for his people: untill he actually accept Christ, as his only all-sufficient Savi­our; and particularly apply to his own Soul that Redemption and Recovery from sin and misery, which Christ hath procured and obtained. 1 Ioh. 5. 12. Ioh. 1. 11, 12. and 3. 16. 18, 36. and 8. 24.

And this must needs be so. For,

1. Christs obtaining of Recovery and Redemption for lapsed Sinners ren­ders them only Salvable, and that pos­sibly they may be saved, which door of Hope is not opened at all to the lapsed Angels: but Sinners particularly ac­cepting of Christ, and applying of his merit unto themselves personally, ren­ders them actually saved, and that they are indeed in the state of Salvation al­ready. Compare diligently these and like Scriptures, Ioh. 3. 16, 17. Tit. 2, 14. 1 Tim. 1. 15. Gal. 4. 4. 5. Rom. 8. 3. which point out a possibility of Salvation by Christ and his Death, with [Page 96] Ioh. 1. 12. 1 Ioh. 5. 12. 1 Cor. 1. 9.

And such like as denote their actual Salvation by Christ, who have accep­ted him and applied him to themselves particularly.

2. Non-accepting and non-apply­ing of Christ, is so great a sin, that it is threatned with damnation, Ioh. 16. 8, 9. with Ioh. 3. 18. 36. and 8. 24.

Therefore, though Christ be never so able and all-sufficient to restore and save Sinners: yet none can have bene­fit by his Salvation without Application of him and his merits.

3. The Promise of effectual and e­ternal Salvation by Christ, is still di­rected to the actual acceptance and ap­plication of Christ. As, Spiritual Rest of Soul is promised: but to them that come to Christ, Mat. 11. 28, 29. Eternal life is promised: but to such as believe in him, Ioh. 3. 16. but to such as eat this bread of life, viz. his flesh given for the life of the world, Ioh. 6. 51. 57. 58. Remission of sins is promised: but to them that believe in him, Act, 10. 43.

Now, how shall man he saved ac­cording to Gods promises, that perform not the Condition of the Promises?

4. Who ever was Restored and sa­ved by Christ, till he accepted and ap­plied Christ? not the Apostles; Ioh. [Page 97] 16. 30. Mat. 16. 16. Not the Sinful woman, Luk. 7. 50. not the convert thief, Luk. 23. 43. not the Jaylor, Act. 16. 31. to 35.

Who ever was healed by a Plaister spread and prepared only, but never appli­ed to the wound and Sore? Who ever was comforted with the richest cordial though never so accurately prepared, if it were never eaten or drunk? And who ever was actually saved by Christ, if not particularly accepted and appli­ed? They that accept not, that apply not Christ to themselves, are without Christ: And they that are without Christ are without Hope, so remaining, and go without Salvation, Eph. 2. 12.

5. All Communion with Christ in his saving benefits [...]lows from Union to Christ in accepting of him, Ioh. 1. 12 1 Ioh. 5. 12. Rom. 8 10. Col. 2. 19. Eph. 4. 16. As the Ciour hath Communion with the Stock in its life, growth, fruitful­ness, by being united unto the stock, by Ingrafting; or as the Wife hath Com­munion with the husband in his Name, state, &c. by being united to him in mar­riage; or as the members of the Natu­ral body have Communion with the head and heart in their life, sense, mo­tion, &c. by being united thereunto by joints and hands.

[Page 98] 6. Till the Sinner accepts and ap­plies Christ, he is not throughly Convinced of the Sinfulness and wret­chedness of his Natural state, and of the great need he hath of Christ to de­liver him out of it. For, Conviction is the first step to application of Christ, Ioh. 16. 8, 9. And where there's not the first step of Conviction: There's no present state of Salvation.

7. Till the Sinner accepts Christ, and applies him, he neglects and despi­seth him: And he that despiseth Christ how can he obtain Salvation, yea, how can he escape damnation. See Mat. 22. 1. to 3. Luk. 14. 16. to 25. Heb. 2. 3.

Direct. XIIII.

OBserve diligently, O Natural man, that the Proper and Peculiar way whereby Iesus Christ is to be ac­cepted and applied to a man's own Soul for Recovery out of his sinful and wret­ched state of Nature, is by true saving Faith in Iesus Christ alone, Act. 10. 43. Ioh. 3. 16. and 1. 12. Act. 13. 38, 39. and 16. 30, 31. Eph. 2. 8. Rom. 3. 22. to 27.

I. That, by true saving Faith alone [Page 99] peculiarly Iesus Christ is accepted and ap­plied for Recovery out of Sin and misery, is evident several wayes. For,

1. The Nature of true saving Faith in Christ, principally consists in the Accepting and applying Christ for Sal­vation as he is offered in the Gospel. Thus I have elsewhere described it; Iustifying Faith is a saving Grace, wrought in the hearts of the Elect at their Regene­ration by Gods Spirit and word; whereby they not only know, Assent to, and apply to themselves the Promises, Gospel, and Doctrine of Iesus Christ for gods glory in their justi­fication and Salvation; but also whereby they afterwards walk as becomes justified persons. There see the Confirmation and Explanation of this Description of FaithIn my Treatise of Gods Cove­nants, Book 3. Chap 3. Aphorism 4. Quest. 1. p. 576. to 566.. So that the Nature of sa­ving faith in Christ, stands much in Ap­plying Christ in the Gospel and promi­ses, who is the Kernel and Soul of them.

2. The Receiving and Applying Iesus Christ for Recovery and Salvation, is one of the chief Acts of Faith,See all these explai­ned. Ibid. which thus I illustrate;

The Acts of true Faith in Christ are

1 Direct. 2. Reflexive.

(1) Direct. and these of 2 Sorts.

1. Primary. As,

  • 1. Knowing. Isai. 53. 11. Ioh. 17. 3.
  • [Page 100] 2. Assenting to the truth of Gods record, 1 Ioh. 5. 9. Ioh. 3. 33.
  • 3. Applying of the Promises, and of Christ, Ioh. 1. 12. As Paul did, Gal. 2. 20. as Thomas did, Ioh. 20. 8.

2. Secondary. As,

  • 1. Retaining Christ Received in the heart, Eph. 3. 17. Col. 2. 6, 7.
  • 2. Purifying the heart, Act. 15. 9.
  • 3. Refreshing the Soul with peace and joy, Rom. 5. 1, 2. and 15. 13.
  • 4. Breaking forth into good works, 1 Thes. 1. 3. Heb. 11.
  • 5. Working by Love, Gal. 5. 6.
  • 6. Enlivening the Soul, Rom. 1. 17. Gal. 2. 20.
  • 2. Conquering all our Spiritual Enemies. 1 Ioh. 3. 2, 3. and 5. 4. 1 Pet. 1. 9. Iam. 4. 7. Eph. 6. 16.

(2) Reflexive. When Faith refle&ing upon its own acts sees it self believing, 1 Ioh. 2. 3. 1 Tim. 1. 12. By this it appears that the applying act of Faith is a very principal act among all the rest. [...] or, All the Acts before the Applying ast, tend to make way for it as Prepa­ratory [Page 101] to it: And all the Acts after it, result from the Applying Act especially, as genuine fruits and effects of it. Thus the Applying act of Faith is among the rest, as the Sun among the Planets, most illustrious.

3. Faith is so peculiarly eminent a­mong all the Graces of the Spirit, in its property of Receiving and applying Iesus Christ, for Recovery and Salva­tion of Sinners, that it's set forth to us in Holy Scripture by sundry Emphati­cal Expressions and Comparisons. All pointing out the Applying Act of Faith. Faith is,

1. A looking upon Christ, as the Jews did upon the brazen Serpent, when stung. Ioh. 3. 15, 16. and 8. 56.

2. A coming to Christ. Ioh. 6. 35. Mat. 11. 28.

3. A Receiving of Christ. Ioh. 1. 11. 12.

4. An Embracing of the Promises, and so of Christ in the Promises. Heb. 11. 13. [...] properly notes, Lo­vingly-embracing, eagerly-apprehending, and thence signifies Saluting: Saluting be­ing performed with embracing.

5. Eating of Christs flesh, drinking of his blood. Ioh. 6. 40. 53. 54.

6. Having of the Son. 1 Ioh. 5. 12.

7. Harbouring Christ so that he [Page 102] dwells in the heart by Faith. Eph. 3. 17.

4. The Doctrine of the Gospel re­veales Recovery and Salvation of Sin­ners in and by Christ: but as Recei­ved and applied by Faith. Act. 10. 43. and 13. 38, 39. Rom. 3. 21. to the end; and 10. 9. &c.

5. Convinced Sinners enquiring how they may be saved, are directed to ap­ply Christ by believing in him. Act. 16. 30, 31.

6. Recovery and Salvation of Sin­ners is Promised in and for Jesus Christ and his merit: but then Christ must be Received and applied by Faith. Faith is often expressed, alwayes to be under­stood as the Condition of the Promise. As, Mat. 11. 28. Ioh. 3. 16. and 6. 40. 53, 54. Mark 16. 16. Act. 10. 43. Rom. 9. 33. 1 Pet. 2. 6. Act. 16. 30, 31.

7. Without Faith in Christ there's no Salvation. None can be saved, that by believing apply not Christ for Recove­ry. Ioh. 3. 18. 36. and 8. 24. Mark 16. 16. 2 Thes. 2. 12.

II. How is Iesus Christ to be Accepted and Applyed by Faith, in order to the Sin­ners Recovery and Salvation by him?

Answer. Jesus Christ is to be accepted and Applyed by Faith, in order to the Sinners Recovery by him, in such sort as he is offered in the Gospel. To accept [Page 103] and apply him otherwise, in any other notion, upon any other terms, &c. then God offers him: is to apply a Christ of our own, not the Lords Christ. Gods offer, must be the ground and Rule of our Acceptance.

Now the Gospel offers Christ unto the Sinner, for his Recovery by him; and to his Faith.

1. As that Messiah and Saviour of Sinners, which from the Fall of man was Promised, Prophecied of, and fore-ty­pified; and in fulness of time was ma­nifested in humane flesh, for lapsed man's Recovery out of Sin and misery. Gen. 3. 15. and 12. 3. and 22. 18. Gal. 3. 8. 16. with Act. 8. 10. 43. Ioh. 1. 41. 45. Gal. 4. 4, 5, 6. 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19, 20.

2. As that only Messiah, Redeemer, and Saviour given among men, by whom alone Sinners can be saved, and by none other in the whole world. Act. 4. 11, 12. Ioh. 8. 24.

3. As an All-sufficient Saviour, able to save fully unto the Vttermost all that come unto God by him. Heb. 7. 24, 25, 26. and 9. 11, 12, 13, 14. and 10, 11. to 19. Ioh. 1. 14, 15. Col. 1. 19, 20.

4. As God-man, Mediator betwixt God and man, Ioh. 1. 14. Gal. 4. 4, 5. 1 Tim. 3. 16. with 1 Tim. 2. 5, 6.

5. As man's Surety, Heb. 7. 22. who [Page 104] by his Obedience Active hath exactly fullfilled the Law of God, which we could not perform or keep, Gal. 4. 4. And by his obedience Passive, to the Death, even the death upon the Cross, hath endured the curse and penalty of the Law for our sakes, which we could neither have endured nor avoided: that so, satisfying Gods justice to the ut­termost for our sins, we might be eter­nally released from sin and wrath, and be reconciled to God, justified and sa­ved by Christs Obedience imputed to us through Faith. Rom. 5. 18, 19. and 8. 3, 4. Phil. 2. 6, 7, 8. Rom. 5. 9, 10. and 3. 25. Gal. 3. 10. 13, 14. Eph. 5. 2. Heb. 9. 12. 14. and 10. 10 to 19. 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19, 20. Tit. 2. 14.

6. As the Sinners Perfect righteous­ness before God, [...]mputed by God un­to him, through Faith. 1 Cor. 1. 30. Rom. 3. 21. 22. to the end. and 4. 11, 12. and 5. 18, 19. and 10. 6. 9. 10. For which all self-righteousness is to be denied, Phil. 3▪ 7, 8, 9, 10.

7. As Christ Jesus the LORD. The Gospel tenders him; As Christ or Messiah, i. e. Anointed by the Spirit a­bove measure for his office, Psal. 45. 7. As Iesus, i. e. A Saviour Mat. 1. 21. Luk. 2. 20. This denotes his office. As the LORD, to rule and raign over [Page 105] us, in us, and for us, over all our ene­mies whatsoever. As he is a JESUS to save: so he will be a LORD to Rule. Thus we are to receive and apply him, as the Colossians did, Col. 2. 6.

8. As that Redeemer, for whom we are to deny ourselves, take up ou [...] Cross and follow him. Luk 9. 23.

III. What encouragement may a poor lapsed and lost Sinner have, to draw towards Iesus Christ, to accept and apply him for his Recovery and Salvation by believing in him.

Answ. Much every way. But espe­cially upon these and like serious Con­siderations. viz.

1. Christ himself hath plainly decla­red that it is the great duty of the Sin­ner, to believe in Christ, and so to ac­cept and apply him by Faith. This, the work, which God chiefly requires and accepts: to believe in Christ. Ioh. 6. 28, 29. 1 Ioh. 3. 23.

2. Christ most sweetly invites all distressed Sinners, and thirsty Souls, to come to him for relief, to believe in him. Mat. 11. 28, 29, 30. Ioh. 7. 37. with Isai. 55. 1, 2. Rev. 22. 17.

3. Christ holds forth the Golden-Scepter of most great and precious Promises, to encourage and allure Sinners to approach to him and to ap­ply him by believing. Mat. 11. 28, [Page 106] 29. Mar. 16. 16. Ioh. 3. 16. 18. 36. and 6. 37. 40. 44. 51. 54. 57. Act. 10. 43. Rom. 9. 33. 1 Pet. 2. 6.

4. Christ never did, never will, re­ject any poor Sinful Soul, that did but even creep to him by the feeblest Faith, Ioh. 6. 37. why then shouldst thou fear, that he will not accept and embrace thee?

5. Christ hath most readily, tender­ly and compassionately received even greatest and most hainous offendors, upon their coming to him by Faith: And all these for Encouraging Patterns and Presidents to all that afterwards shall believe in him, 1 Tim. 1. 16. And why should he not in like sort enter­tain thee, notwithstanding all thy Sins, if thou canst believe in him? Remem­ber the reception of the Prodigal, Luk. 15. 20. to the end: of Nicodemus. the ig­norant Pharisee, Ioh. 3. 1, 2, 3. &c. of Mathew the griping Customer, Mat. 9. 9. of Zachaeus the oppressing Pub­lican, Luk. 19. 5. to 11. Of the noto­rious Sinful woman that washed Christs feet with her Tears, &c. Luk. 7. 37. to the end of Saul, that was injurious, a Persecutor and a Blasphemer, Act. 26. 9, 10. 11. 1 Tim. 1. 13, 14. 16. of the Thief upon the Cross, that even af­ter his Crucifiction had railed upon [Page 107] Christ, Mat 27. 44. compared with Luk. 23. 40. to 44. Yea of those that were guilty of his Death and Blood: yet even some of them Christ washed from their Sins by the very blood which they shed,Quis de­speraret sibi donanda pec­cata, quando crimen occisi Christi reis d [...] ­nabatur? Con­versi sunt ex ipso populo Iu­daeorum: Con­versi sunt, bap­tizati, sunt. Ad mensam Domini accesserunt: & sanguinem, quem saevientes fuderunt, credentes biberunt, Aug. de Temp. Serm. 74. p. 747. B. Tom. 10. Basil. 1569. Act. 2. 36, 37. to the end. Oh, miracles of Christs mercy and Compassion to lost Sin­ners! when Christ accepts such; who would not hopefully come to him? When Christ saves such; who have cause to despair, that desire truly to repent and believe in him?

XV. Direction.

POwer thus to believe in Iesus Christ God-man, and by believing to ac­cept and Apply him for thy Recovery (O Natural man) out of thy sinful and wretched state of Nature, thou hast none at all of thy self; But all thy suf­ficiency in this behalf is wholly of God: Nevertheless thou mayst, and oughtest to do some things for the furtherance of thy Faith in Christ.

I. That, of thyself thou hast no power or sufficiency at all to believe in Iesus Christ, to receive, and apply him effectually by believing, without the supernatural influence and assistance of God: Is plain. For,

1. The Testimony of Christ and his Apostles is clear for it. No man can come to me (i. e. by believing) Except the Father which hath sent me, draw him, Ioh. 6. 44. He cannot of himself, or by his own power come and believe: till God influence him and enable him. Again; Without me ye can do nothing. viz. no­thing in fruit bearing; either of Faith, or any other good spiritual fruit, Ioh. 15. 5. That of the Apostles is pun­ctual; By Grace are ye saved, through [Page 109] Faith and that not of your selve, it is the gift of God, Ephes. 2. 8.See, The large English Annotations on. Eph. 2. 8. and Mr. Paul Bayns in his Comment on Eph. 2. 8.

2. True saving Faith in Christ, and the acting of it unto the accepting and applying of Christ, is the special work of God and fruit of the spirit, of the Regenerating spirit of God. Compare and consider well, Ioh. 6. 44. Gal. 5. 22. with Ioh. 1. 12, 13.

3. Faith in Christ is the Life of the Soul from Christ, it is as the vital spirits from him, Gal. 2. 20. Rom. 1. 17. Now, can the Soul of natural man, which is dead in sins and trespasses, Eph. 2. [...]. quicken it self by believing.

Hence, then, these things must needs follow. 1. That, whosoever do believe in Christ truly, and by Faith apply him effectually and savingly, they owe all this wholly to the rich Grace and meer favour of God. And are to render un­to him all the praise thereof. 2. That 'tis a piece of gross Ignorance and ground­less Presumption, for any Natural man whatsoever, to think he can believe and accept Christ at his pleasure. This is impossible. 3. Let every natural man take heed he reject not the divine offers of Faith unto his Soul, nor resist the Spi­rits motions and operations inclining, drawing, and perswading the heart thereunto, 1 Thes. 5. 19. Act. 7. 51. Eph 4. [Page 110] Ioh. 6. 44. For, what if the Spirit of God draw and move the heart so no more? And without God, there's no believing.

II. Notwithstanding, Though the Natural man cannot of himself savingly be­lieve in Christ, or apply him, by any self-sufficiency or power of his own, yet something towards it, and towards the furtherance thereof, he may and ought to do, Act. 8. 13. Luk. 8. 13. For, what a meer Natural man hath done heretofore, why may not a meer Natural man do again? Now then, O Natural man, though thou canst not of thy self believe in Christ, and apply him savingly, yet neglect not to do what thou canst do, in order to this believing in Christ, and applying of Christ to thine own soul.

Art thou grieved in thine heart thou canst not enough believe in him? Art thou desirous to believe in him alone for Recovery and Salvation? I would fain take this for granted. Let me then draw thee, thou poor trembling soul, a few steps further towards Christ. Make use of these few Helps and Furtherances unto Faith in Christ Jesus. For, this thou canst, and ought'st to do. viz.

1. Know, and Consider Jesus Christ [Page 111] well, both in his Person, Offices, and the effects or acquirements of his Offi­ces, as all these are delineated in the Holy Scriptures. Ioh. 17. 3. 1 Tim. 3. 16. 1 Tim. 2. 5, 6. Heb. 9. 12, 13, 14. and 10. 7. to 19. Rom. 5. 9, 10. And Assent fully to the Record, that God hath given of his Son in his Word, that eter­nal life is in his Son, 1 Joh. 5. 10, 11. Now, Knowledge, Heb. 11. 3. Isa. 53. 11. Ioh. 17. 3. Assent, 1 Ioh. 5. 10, 11. And Application, Ioh. 1. 12. Gal. 2. 20. make up the Nature of true Faith.

2. Ponder often and earnestly upon the Promises of God touching Christ, and touching believing in him. As, That whosoever comes to him by believ­ing, shall not in any case be cast out by Christ, Ioh. 6 35, 37. shall not be ashamed or confounded, Rom. 9. 33. 1 Pet. 2. 6. shall not perish, Joh. 3. 16. shall ne­ver hunger nor thirst more, Joh. 6. 35. Isa. 55. 1. shall find rest from Christ unto his soul, Mat. 11. 28, 29. shall live, though he were dead; yea, shall never die, Joh. 11. 25. yea, shall have eternal life, and be saved, Joh. 3. 16, 17. Mar. 10. 16. Now these and such like Promises, being Yea and Amen in Christ, 2 Cor. 1. 20. they are Fundamentum & Pabulum Fidei, The very foundation, whereupon [Page 112] Faith is bottomed and grounded; and the food, wherewith Faith is nourish­ed. See Rom. 4. 17. to the end. Heb. 11. 11.

3. Consider well the Nature of God, the Promiser. For, this will greatly encourage Faith to embrace the Pro­mises, and Christ in the Promises. For,

Gods Truth is such: he cannot lie, Tit. 1. 2. 'Tis impossible he should lie, Heb. 6. 10.

Gods Fidelity such: he cannot, will not deceive, Heb. 11. 11.

Gods Power such: he can fully per­form what he hath promised, seem it never so improbable, impossible, incredible, Rom. 4. 20, 21.

His love and free grace such: in giving Christ for us, Ioh. 3. 16, 17. and offering Christ to us, Rom. 3. 21, &c. 2 Cor. 5. 18, &c. That with him he will freely give all things, Rom. 8. 32.

4. Be diligent and constant in at­tending upon Gods Ordinances, whereby Faith is bred and nourished. Especially be singularly careful and vi­gilant in hearing the Word faithfully and powerfully preached. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, Rom. 10. 14, 15, 17. The Word preached is the Seed of Faith and Re­generation, [Page 113] 1 Pet. 1. 23, 25.

5. Cherish and make much of every good motion, stirring, striving incli­nation, operation of the Spirit of God in thine heart and soul, tending to thine accepting and closing with Christ, 1 Thes. 5. 19. Eph. 4. 30. Act 7. 51. For Faith is the proper fruit o [...] the Spirit, Gal. 5. 22.

6. Forget not the exemplary instan­ces of Believers, who, though great offendors, yet have received and ap­ply'd Christ by Faith, and have been graciously accepted and entertained by him: and all this for the encourage­ment of thee, and of all that afterwards should believe. As, The Jaylor, Act. 16. 30, &c. Paul, 1 Tim. 1. 13. to 17. Act. 26. 9. 10, 11. The penitent Woman, Luk. 7. 37. to the end. The Thief on the Cross, Luk. 23. 42, 43. The 3000 Hearers of Peter, Act. 2. 36▪ 37. &c.

7. Ask, seek, knock importunately at the Throne of Grace, for this soul-saving Grace. The Spirit is promised to them that ask, Luk. 11. 13. Fly unto Christ the Author and finisher of Faith, Heb. 12. 2. And cry, Lord increase my Faith, Luk. 17. 5. Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief, Mar. 9. 24.

XVI. Direction.

QUestion and examine the self often impartially, touching the truth of thy Faith in Christ for thy Recovery and Salvation, 2 Cor. 13. 5. For, There is a counterfeit and fained Faith, Luk. 8. 13. Act. 8. 13. Iam. 2. 14, 17▪ 20, 26. And there is a Faith unfained, 1 Tim. 1. 5. 2 Tim. 1. 5. 'Tis the Faith unfained that accepts and applies Christ, Ioh. 1. 12, 13. Act. 8. 37. and will afford thee solid comfort.

Now Faith in Christ unfained may be discovered by these and the like Cha­racters, which if thou canst really find in thy self, doubtless thou art a true Believer.

True saving Faith in Jesus Christ, is,

1. A Christ-applying Faith. If Faith be sincere and salvi [...]ical, it never rests till it bring the soul to Christ, till it possess the soul of Christ. It is the soul's eye, that beholds Christ lifted up, Io [...]. 3. 15. It's the soul's feet, whereby it comes to Christ, Mat. 11. 28. Ioh. 6. 35▪ 37. It's the soul's hand, whereby it receives Christ; and arms, wherewith [Page 115] it [...] embraceth Christ,Ioh. 1. 12. He [...]. 11. 13. It's the soul's mouth, where­with it eats Christs flesh that bread of life,Saluting, kis­sing, or em­bracing the Promises. and drinks Christs blood that wa­ter of life, Ioh. 6. 47, 53, 54, 55. By all which acts of Faith the soul comes to have Christ, toMetaphora, ut videtur, [...] na­vigantibus, qui portum eminus conspicati, lae­tis acclamatio­nibus salutant, & contingere gand [...]t. possess and enjoy him, and life in him, 1 Joh. 5. 12. True Faith in Christ contents not it self on­ly to know Christ, or only to assent to the truth of Gods Record touching Christ, that life is in him; but it fur­ther proceeds to receive and apply Christ to the soul,D. Pareus in Comment. ad Heb. 11. 13. to appropriate him and enjoy him actually to the particu­lar Believer.

2. A Christ-retaining Faith. True saving Faith in Christ, not only enter­tains Christ, but also retains him in the best room of the soul, the heart.— That Christ may dwell in your hearts by Faith, Eph. 3. 17. The Believer's heart, is Christ's home: And Faith gives Christ the acceptable entertain­ment: 1. As it cleanseth the heart of every thing that might be offensive to him, Act. 15. 9. 2. As it ascribes all salvation and sufficiency for it, only unto Christ, counting all self-excel­lencies loss and dung, Phil. 3. 7, 8, 9, 10. So then, if Christ be dwelling in thine heart, Faith is there also.

[Page 116] 3. A Christ esteeming Faith. Faith most highly esteems Christ, accounts him most precious.—Unto them which believe he is precious, 1 Pet. 2. 7. So precious; That, he sells all that he hath for him, Mat. 13. 44, 45, 46. That, he denies all that he hath, yea all that he is, for him, Phil. 3. 7, 8, 9, 10. Luk. 9. 23. and 19. 43. That he dis­esteems, and as it were, hates all dear­est Relations, in comparison of Christ, Mat. 10. 37. Luk. 14. 26, &c. Yea, so precious; That, it sets more store by Christ, at his lowest, then by all worldly treasures, at their highest, Heb. 11. 26, 27. If Christ be truly precious to thy soul, Faith is planted in thine heart.

4. An heart purifying Grace. Accor­ding to that;—Purifying their hearts by Faith, Act. 15. 9. 1 Joh. 3. 3. Faith makes the inside clean; hypocrisie only the outside, Mat. 23. 25, 26. Faith purifies the heart; 1. Formaliter, formally, as it is an holy, inherent principle of Grace and Purity, re­sisting sin and temptation, Gal. 5. 17. 1 Ioh. 3. 3. Eph. 6 16. To this effect it's stiled, [...], most holy faith, Jude, verse 20.Quo titulo nulla ali [...] vir [...]us Chris [...]iana insignitur in sacris literis, quia est fundamentum & causa procreans omnis sanctitatis. Phil. Pareus in Com. ad Jud. 20. 2. Instrumenta­liter: [Page 117] Instrumentally it purisieth: the heart, by applying thereunto Christs imputed purity, Phil. 3. 9. Christ's blood, which purgeth the conscience from the guilt and power of dead works, to serve the living God, Heb. 9. 14. with Rom. 3. 25. By applying Christ's im­puted purity and righteousness.

5. A soul-purifying, and heart-comfort­ing Grace. It affords peace with God: which produceth two excellent effects: 1. Ioy, in hope of the glory of God. 2. Glorying even in tribulation, Rom. 5. 1, 2, 3.—joy and peace in believing, Rom. 15. 13. Now, the peace of God passeth all understanding, and keeps, as in a Garrison, [...] It signifies keeping, as a Castle, Town or City, is in time of war kept by a Garrison, and Walls, &c. from the enemy. Metaph. à castris, vallo, & fossis undique munitis, ut null [...] hostium vi vel astutia expugna [...]i possint. D. Pareus in Phil. 4 7. the heart and mind in Christ Jesus, viz. safe and secure, Phil. 4. 7.

6. Most dutiful and obediential towards God, and this against all interposing difficulties: against Reason, against Natural Affection, &c. As in Noah, Heb▪ 11. 7. In Abraham; when he obey'd God, to forsake his kindred, and follow God, he knew not whither, Heb. 11. 8. And when he in a sort of­fered [Page 118] up Isaac for a Burnt-offering, Heb. 11. 17.

7. Most abundant and fruitful in all good works, Jam. 2. 14. to the end. And this God expects, Tit. 3. 8. Faith is a most working Grace: it is the root of all good works of piety, righteousness and sobriety, 1 Tim. 1. 5. Hence that phrase;—The work of Faith, 1 Thes. 1. 3. A workless Faith, is (as Iames intimates to us) a worthless Faith, Iam. 2. 17, 26.

8. A Grace that acts and works by love, Gal. 5. 6. How by love?

More generally: Not by love, as fire works by heat, the formal property of fire; as if love were the form of Faith, as Papists say, contrary to that in 1 Tim 1. 5. But by love, as an exter­nal instrument, (external or outward, as to the proper nature of Faith) joyn­ed or annexed unto Faith, for the ex­erting of its acts, as the soul works by the brain, eye, ear, hand, &c.

More particularly: Faith works by love: 1. As it tends to principle and store the heart with the love of Christ, 1 Pet. 1. 7, 8. Faith is as the Captain-Grace, that leads on all the rest, 2 Pet. 1. 5, 6, 7. 2▪ As it actuates and incites love with a more ardent flame towards God, Christ, and all good­ness. [Page 119] Faith spreads open before the soul Gods love and Christs loveliness, how transcendent, how infinite. So that the soul cannot choose but love them again, Ioh. 3. 16, 17. Rom. 5. 5, 6, 7, &c. Ioh. 15. 13. 1 Ioh. 3. 16, 19.

3. As it exercisethOderun [...] peccare mali, formidine paen [...]. it self in all duties and acts of obedience to God, Christ, &c. not in a way of servile, slavish fear,Oderunt peccare boni, virtutis amore. Horat. but in a sweet way of love; because a man loves God and Christ, loves the wayes of vertue, loves his Commandements, and counts them not grievous, 1 Joh. 5. 3. Faith makes all obedience and duty come off lovingly, sweetly, chearfully, 1 Tim. 1. 5.

9. A growing Grace. It encreaseth more and more.—Your Faith groweth exceedingly, 2 Thes. 1. 3. See also Rev. 2 19. Counterfeit Faith, dead Faith, is like a painted Tree, or painted Flower upon a Wall, seem it never so fair, it grows not at all.

10. Vigorous in resisting, and victorious in conquering, all sorts of Temptations, viz. Of the World, frowning or smi­ling, 1 Ioh. 5. 4. Ioh. 16. 33. Of the Flesh, Act. 15. 9. 1 Joh. 3. 3. Of the Devil, [...] Pet. 5. 9. Eph. 6. 16.

11. Fervent, and continuing instant in prayer, even against discouragements; [Page 120] though prayer seem to be neglected, repulsed, denied. As in the Canaani­tish woman, Mat. 15. 22. to 29. In Elijah, who prayed seven times, 1 King. 18. 41. to 46. Iam. 5. 17, 18.

12. Valiant in confessing Christ, in professing and owning of his Gospel, Truth and Cause, in dayes of greatest danger and persecution, 2 Tim. 1. 12. Saul converted to the Faith, straight­way preached Christ in the Synagogues, that he was the Son of God, though to the hazard of his life, Act. 9. 20, 23. The Angel of Pergamos, held fast Christ's Name, deni'd not his Faith, even there, where Satan's seat was, and even then, when Antipas was his faithful Martyr, Rev. 2. 12, 13. Rev. 13. 10. The Faith and patience of the Saints, is most active and illustrious in midst of Anti­christian cruelties and persecuti­ons.

13. Finally, True Faith is constant and persevering. False Faith believes but for a time, in time of persecution falls away, Luk. 8. 13. True Faith holds on unto the end. Draws not back unto perdition, but believes unto the saving of the soul, Heb. 10. 39. The true Believer holds on believing, till he attain the scope and end of his Faith, the salvation of his soul, 1 Pet. 1. 8, 9.

XVII. Direction.

REpentance from head works, not to be repented of, Heb. 6. 1. 2 Cor. 7. 10. is an inseparable compani­on of true faith,As I have elsewhere showed in my Treatise of Repentance. Quest. 2. (The Scripture usually coupling them together, Mar. 1. 14. 15. Act. 20. 21. and 2. 37, 38. and 26. 18. Heb. 6. 1.) and therefore every one that would approve himself to be­lieve in Christ sincerely, must repent of all his sins unfeinedly, as he expects to have his sins remitted freely, and his soul saved eternally. Luk. 24. 47. Act. 2. 38. and 5. 31. and 3. 19.— Act. 11. 18. Ezek. 18. 30, 31, 32. Luk. 13. 3, 5.

To Repent, is set forth by two Greek words, very significant in the New Testament. 1. [...], Metanoein, which properly signifies, To have an after-wit, wisdom or consideration; a re­turn to ones wits and wisdom again. As did the Prodigal, Luk. 15. 17. This word is used often, Mat. 3. 8, 11. and 9. 13.—To sin, is our folly; to repent of sin, is our after-wisdom. 2. [...], Metamelesthai, To have an after-care, to be heedful after­wards. [Page 122] It's through want of care and heed that men transgress: 'Tis Repen­tance that makes the offendor more careful to withstand and prevent sin for the future, 2 Cor. 7. 8, 11. This word is used in Mat. 21. 29, 32.

Repentance is two-fold,

1. Initial, fundamental and univer­sal: when a sinner at his first cover­sion repents of all his sins, original and actual, at once, turning from them unto God, Mat. 3. 2, 8. Mar. 1. 14, 15. Act. 11. 18. and 20, 21. and 26. 18, 20. Heb. 6. 1, 2.

2. Secondary and particular: when a penitent after his conversion lapseth into any sin or sins, and renews Re­pentance for them particularly. As David, Psal. 51. tit. &c. Peter, Mat. 26. 75. Here, the former is [...]hiefly intended, but the latter not excluded.

Godly sorrow works Repentance not to be repented of, 2 Cor. 7. 10. But proper­ly, godly sorrow is not Repentance, but an excellent Preparative, Inlet and Harbinger to Repentance. The pro­per Nature of Repentance stands in, 1. Aversion from Sin and Satan. 2. Conversion unto God and all good­ness, Act. 26. 18.

Now there are very many cogent [Page 123] Motives, that may incline a sinner to this initial, fundamental and universal Repentance. For,

1. God himself greatly desires the sinners initial, fundamental and uni­versal Repentance. Ezek. 18. 23. and 33. 11. and 18. 31, 32. See how, 1. He commands it, Act. 17. 30. Mar. 1. 14, 15. 2. He invitesNon praeci­pit tantum, sed etiam hor [...]atur. Invitat praemio salutem. Tertul. de Paenit. c. 4. p. 114. Franek. 1597. to it, Isa. 1. 16, &c. and 55. 7. Mat. 3. 2. Ezek. 18. 23, 31, 32. Ier. 3. 1. 3. He promiseth great things to the penitent. Isa. 55. 7. Zech. 1. 3. Act. 2. 38. Hos. 14. 1, 2, 3, 4. Ezek. 18. 21, 22. Act. 26. 18. 4. He professeth, yea sweareth, he hath no pleasure in the death of the sinner, but that he should repent and live, Ezek. 18. 23. and 33. 11. 5. He re­ceives penitents readily, compassio­nately, gladsomly, Luk. 15. 3. to the end.

2. Jesus Christ exceedingly endea­vours the Sinners universal Repen­tance and Conversion. Mat. 4. 17. Mar. 1. 14, 15. Luk. 24. 47. Act. 26. 17, 18. For, 1. He sent Iohn Baptist his Harbinger preaching-Repentance, Mat. 3. 1, 2, 3, 8. Luk. 3. 3. to 15. 2. His first Sermon was of Repentance, Mat. 4. 17. Mar. 1. 1 [...], 15. 3. He di­rects his Apostles first to preach Re­pentance to the Gentiles, Luk. 24. 47. [Page 124] 4. He shows the Necessity of Repent­ing and Converting, Luk. 13. 3, 5. Mat. 18. 3. 5. He upbraids and la­ments the impenitent, Mat. 11. 20. to 25. and 23. 37, 38, 39. 6. He ac­cepteth penitents most compassionate­ly, Luk. 7. 37. to the end▪ and 19. 8, 9, 10. and 23. 4 [...] Act. 9. 6, &c.

3. The Holy Ghost most frequently incites unto Repentance in Holy Scri­ptures. Isa. 1. 16, 17, &c. and 55. 6, 7. Ezek. 18. 23, 31, 32. and 33. 11. Hos. 6. 1, &c. and 14. 1, &c. Ioel 2▪ 12, &c. Act. 2. 37, &c. and 3. 19. and 17. 30. Heb. 3. 7, &c. Rev. 2. 4, 5.

4. The time [of the Messias coming in the flesh foretold] is fulfilled; and the Kingdom of God, [the Messiah's New Testament-Kingdom] is at hand, yea, as to us, is already come: therefore all should repent and believe, Mark 1. 15. Why? That thus they may be fitted and qualified for reception of Christ, and of his Kingdom, to their Sal­vation.

5. There's mention made in Holy Scripture of an whole cloud of Sinners initially repenting of their [...]ins, and turning from them unto God, encou­raging thee to imitate them in this nar­row way of Life and Salvation. [...] Manasses, [...] Chron. 33. 12. to 18. [Page 125] Iohn Baptist's Hearers, Mat. 3. 2, 5, 6, 7, 8. with Mat. 21. 32. The sinful Woman, Luke 7. 37, &c. Zacheus the Publican, Luke 19. 7, 8, 9, 10. The Prodigal Son, Luke 15. 15. to the end. Saul the Persecutor, Act. 9. 3. to 23. Lydia, Act. 16. 14, 15. The Jaylor and his House, Act. 16. 25. to 35. Many Gentiles, Act. 11. 18. and 15. 19. Many at Ephesus, Act. 19. 17. to 21. The Thessalonians, 1 Thes. 1. 5. to 11. The Thief on the Cross, Luke 23. 40. to 44. They that crucified, and consented to the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, even 3000 of them, Act. 2. 36, 37, &c. All these are propounded as examples to allure thee, and cords to draw thee unto initial Repentance.

6. Impenitency is most dangerous. 1. Is rebellion against Gods Com­mand, Act. 17. 30. Isa. 1. 16, 20. 2. The fruit of a blinded mind and hardned heart, &c. Ioh. 12. 40. Rom. 2. 5. 3. Seals up the Natural man in his state of sin and misery, Exod. 34. 7. God will not clear the impenitent guilty; and how woful is that state of sin and misery! Act. 26. 18. 4. Shuts him eternally out of Gods Kingdom, Mat. 18. 3. 5. Treasures up wrath against the day of wrath, Rom. 2. 5. [Page 126] 6. Renders their condition who live under the Gospel, worse then that of Heathens at the judgement-day, Mat. 11. 20. to 25. 7. Exposeth impeni­tents to all judgements in this present world, Lev. 26. 23. Amos 4. 6. to 13. And to everlasting damnation in the world to come, Luke 13. 3, 5. Ezek. 18. 20, 26, 30, 31.

7. True Repentance is most desira­ble and beneficial to the penitent Soul. For, 1. It is never to be repented of, 2 Cor 7. 10. 2. It thorowly removes the Natural mans sinfulness, though never so great, Isa. 1. 16, 17, 18. and 55. 7. Luke 24. 47. Act. 5. 31. and 3. 19. And wretchedness, though ne­ver so deep, Act. 26. 18. Luk. 15. 32. Ezek. 18. 27, 28. 3. It returns the Sin­ner unto God, the only supream Good, Act. 26. 18. Zech. 1. 3. 4. It occasioneth much joy: To the Saints on Earth, Act. 15. 3. To the Angels in Heaven, Luke 15. 7, 10. And as it were to God himself, Luk. 15. 20. to 25. 5. It intituleth the Penitent to sundry precious Promises. As, Isa 1. 16, 17, 18. and 55. 7. Ezek 18. 21, 22. Zech. 1. 3. Act. 26. 18. 6. It is the ready way to Life and Salvation, Act. 11. 18. 2 Cor. 7. 10. 7. It puts into possession of the Inheritance of the Saints, [Page 127] of the Kingdom of Heaven, even Pa­radise it self. Act. 26. 18. Mat. 18. 3. Luke 23. 41, 42, 43.

XVIII. Direction.

SEarch out and try the truth of thy Repentance, as well as of thy Faith, lest in this necessary Grace and fundamental Duty, thou mistakest a shadow for a substance, an appearance for a reality, and so overthrow the whole Fabrick of thy Christianity.

Mock-Repentance, counterfeit Re­pentance, is of no account at all with God, nor of any avail for spiritual blessings or eternal Salvation. Hos. 7. 16. Ahab got no spiritual good, 1 King. 21. 27. Nor Iudas, Mat. 27. 3, 4, 5. by their counterfeit repent­ing.

Sincere Repentance may be disco­vered by the 1. Antecedents. 2. Con­stituents. 3. Concomitants. And 4. Con­sequents thereof.

I. The Antecedents, going before true Repentance, are; Conviction, Il­lumination, Godly Sorrow, Hatred of Sin.

[Page 128] 1. Conviction of sin, if true and sin­cere, when it

1. Leads a man from sin to sin, from actual to original. Psal. 51. 1. to 6.

2. Smites the Conscience sharply for sin. Psal. 51. 3, 8. Act. 2. 37.

3. Provokes the Soul to seek for remedy. Act. 2. 36, 37. contra Mat. 27. 3, 4, 5.

2. Illumination touching Christ, the remedy against sin. Act. 26. 18. If true,

1. Gives a more clear and perfect insight into the mystery of Christ and Christianity, then any Natural man hath. 1 Cor. 2. 6. to 15.

2. Melts the Heart into love to Christ, and tears, or at least, mourn­ing for sin. Luke 7. 37. to the end.

3. Conducts the Soul, like the Star, to Christ, Ioh. 6. 45.

4. Inclines the Soul to deny, do, and suffer any thing for Christ. Phil. 3. 7, 8, &c. Act. 9. 4, 5, 6. Heb. 10. 32, 33, 34.

3. Godly Sorrow, and Contrition, working Repentance, 2 Cor. 7. 10. If true and sincere,

1. Wounds the Heart most for sin, as it is against God. Psal. 51. 4. [Page 129] As against Christ. [...] 12. 10, 11.

2. Drives the Sinner to seek spi­ritual relief. Act. 2. 36, 37, &c. Luke 7. 37, &c.

3. Deeply humbleth and abaseth the Soul. Ezek. 36. 31. Luke 15. 17, &c.

4. Secretly refresheth the Heart that it can mourn for sin. Isa. 61. 3. Dolet de morbo, gaudet de medicina: L [...] ­ments at the malady, rejoyceth at the remedy.

5. Is very great. Zech. 12. 10, 11. Psal. 38. 3. to 11.

6. Is permanent and lasting. Psal. 51. 3.

7. At last works Repentance not to be repented of. 2 Cor. 7. 10.

4. Hatred of Sin, if sincere,

1. Ariseth from true Love to God, that cannot endure sin. Psal. 97. 10.

2. Comes from due esteem of Gods Word, that detects sin. Psal. 119. 113. 128.

3. Flows from true Love to Holiness and Righteousness. Psal. 45. 7.

4. Is chiefly for the sinfulness of it. Gal. 5. 17.

5. Is Universal against every sin­ful way. Psal. 119. 104.

[Page 130] II. The Constituents of the proper Nature of Repentance, Aversion from evil, and Conversion to God, Act. 26. 18. Col. 1. 13. 1 Pet. 2. 9. discover the truth of Repentance, viz.

1. Aversion from evil, if upright,

1. Is from sin cordially and really hated. Psal. 119. 104.

2. Is from sin for its sinfulness against God. Gen. 39. 9.

3. Is consequently from all known sin. Ezek. 18. 21, 30, 31.

4. Is also from his own more pe­culiar iniquity, to which by Natural Constitution, Calling, Temptation, &c. he was more specially inclined. Psal. 18. 22.

5. Is from the power of sin. Col. 1. 13. 1 Pet. 2. 9. Eph. 2. 1, 5. With crucifying and mortifying of sin. Col. 3. 5. Gal. 5. 24.

6. Is constant and continuing. 2 Pet. 2. 20, 21, 22.

7. Is joyned with eschewing fel­lowship with others in their sins. Eph. 5. 11. Psal. 1. 1, 2.

2. Conversion to God, if sincere,

1. Is upon serious consideration, Luke 15. 17. to the end. Ezek. 18. 27, 28.

2. Is immediately unto Christ, the way to God▪ Act. 11. 21. with Ioh. 14. 6.

[Page 131] 3. Is unto God as a reconciled Father in Christ. Lu [...]e 15. 18, 19, 20, 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19, 20, 21.

4. Is by the regenerating Spirits operation. Iohn 3. 3, 5. Eph. 2. 18.

5. Is to God cordially and entirely. Io [...]l 2. 13. 1 Kings 8. 47, 48.

6. Turneth to God, so as to re­sign himself to Gods Power and Go­vernment. Act. 26. 18. Col. 1. 13.

7. Turneth to God, with fixed resolution never to turn away from him. Deut. 10. 20. with Psal. 86. 11. and 73. 25, 26.

III. Concomitants, accompanying true Repentance, may give some light to the truth of Repentance. ‘Noscitur ex comite, qui nondignoscitur exse:’ A man is oft-times better known by his company, rather then by himself. These are Concomitants or Companions of true Repentance, viz.

1. An hearty, impartial, self-aba­sing and self-condemning confession of sin to God. Psal. 51. 17. and verse 1, 3, 5, 14. Ezra 9. 6. Dan. 9. 5, 6, 7, 8. Luke 15. 18, 19.

2. Faith in Christ: Mark 1. 15. Act. 26. 18. Heb. 6. 1. of which for­merly.

3. Penitential Desires, and these [Page 132] vehement, viz. Against sin, that it may be pardoned, subdued, extirpa­ted, &c. And for abundance of Grace to these ends. 2 Cor. 7. 10, 11.

4. Prayer. Act. 9. 11. Even the Spirit of Prayer. Zech. 12. 10. Psal. 51. 1. &c.

IV. Consequents of true Repentance, a [...]e

1. More generally, All good fruits and good works, meet for Repen­tance. Mat. 3. 8, 9, 10. and 7. 19. Luke 3. 8, 9. with Gal. 5. 22, 23.

2. More particularly, These, and such like:

1. Vigilant care against sin for time to come. 2 Cor. 7. 11.

2. Enlarged thankfulness for Gods mercies in Christ, to the peni­tent and pardoned sinner. 1 Tim. 1▪ 13. to 18. Luke 7. 37, 38.

3. Vehement and sincere Love; To Christ, for his Grace, Luke 7. 47. Phil. 3. 7, 8, 9, 10. To his Ministers, for their Embassey. 1 Thes. 5. 12, 13. Gal. 4. 14, 15. To his members, for his image. 1 Ioh. 3. 14. and 5. 1.

4. Singular joy in Christ, and in all his wayes. Acts 2. 46. and 8. 39.

5. Chearful new obedience to [Page 133] God in Christ. Acts 2. 42, &c. Isa. 1, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

6. Compassionateness to other sinners, with desires and endea­vours to gain them to Christ by Faith and Repentance. Psal. 51. 12, 13. 1 Cor. 9. 19. to 23. Luke 22. 32. Acts 26. 29.

7. Holy zeal to the peace and prosperity of Christs Church, into which the penitent is now implanted. Acts 2. 41. to the end. 1 Cor. 9. 19, &c. Psal. 51. 18, 19.

XIX. Direction.

TUrn now unto God in Christ (O Natural man) by repenting: Come now unto Iesus Christ, and ap­ply him by believing: Delay not, tar­ry not, but make all speed, all present speed, in thy life, in thy health, in thy youth, this day rather then to morrow, as ever thou desirest to make sur [...] of life and eternal salvation by Christ Iesus. Eccl. 12. 1. Heb. 3. 7, 8, 13, 15. 2 Cor. 6. 2.

To incline thee forcibly hereunto, consider seriously,

1. God calls for the early sacrifices and services to be performed to him. As, The first­fruits of the Ground, The first-fruits of Dough, the first­fruits of all Fruit-trees, Neh. 10. 35, 36, 37. The Firstlings of Beasts, Exod, 13. 1, 2. The First-born of man, Exod. 13. 1, 2. The First-fruits of thy dayes: Remember now thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth, Eccl. 12. 1. The first-fruits of thy study, care, diligence, affections, &c. First seek the King­dom of God and his righteousness, Mat. 6. 33. And wilt thou put off God with [Page 135] the last? with the dross and dregs of all?

2. Gods Elect have come in to Christ, repented and converted spee­dily immediately upon Gods call; and dost thou still stand off, after so many calls and invitations? The Apostles immediately upon Christs call came to him and followed him, Mat. 4. 18. to 23. The sinful Woman presently relented upon Christs preaching that sweet Sermon, Mat. 11. 28, 29, 30. (her History is thoughtSee Chem­nit. Harm. E­vaingel. cap. 57 in ratione or­dinis. next in order to succeed those words) Luke 7. 37, &c. Zacheus the Publican was presently converted upon Christs coming to him, Luke 19. 6. to 11. The Thief upon the Cross, (who pos­sibly never saw or heard Christ before) was immediately converted, and assu­red that that day he should be with Christ in Paradise, Luke 23. 41, 42, 43. Cornelius and his Company were gain­ed to Christ, as Peter was uttering his Sermon, Acts 10. 44, &c. The Ethio­pian Eunuch, upon Philip's preaching, instantly believed and was baptized, Acts 8. 35, &c. At one Sermon of Peter 3000 were brought home to Christ, and added to the Church, Acts 2. 36, 37, &c. The Hearers of the Apostles were speedily converted, [Page 136] about 5000, Acts 4. 4. Saul upon Christs call instantly believed and re­pented, so thatMissus est ad Gentes, ex Latrone Pa­stor, ex Lupo Ovis. Aug. de Temp. Serm. 74. p. 747. D. Tom. 10. Basil. 1569. of a Wolf he became a Lamb, of a Persecutor a Preacher of Christ and of his Gospel, Acts 9. 3, 4, &c. 19, 20, &c. At Paul's preaching Ly­dia's heart was presently opened to enter­tain Christ, Acts 16. 14. The Jaylor presently believed upon the preaching of Paul and Silas, Acts 16. 30, &c. The Ephesians, after they heard the Word of Truth, speedily converted to God, Eph. 1. 13, 14, 15. with Acts 19. 17, 18, 19, 20. The Thessalonians, upon Paul's entring in unto them with the Gospel, turned from Idols to serve the living God, 1 Thes. 1. 4, 5, 9. and 2. 1. And what shall I say more? The Colos­sians believed and were converted spee­dily. Non est pro­crastinandum auditoribus vangelii, sed ex quo di praedi­catur, [...]os opor­tet & credere, & fructus pro­ferre. Heb. 3. 8 Jo. Daven. Exposit, ad Coloss. 1. 6. the Gospel bringing forth fruit in them, from the very day they heard it, Col. 1. 4, 5, 6. Now this Catalogue of early Repenters shall rise up in judge­ment against thee, and condemn thee for thy delay.

3. The present time is of all other the very fittest time in the world for thee, and for every one, to turn from sin by repenting, and close with [Page 137] Christ by believing. For, [...] God saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, Heb. 3. 7, 8. 13. 15. and 4. 7. And dost thou, with the De­vil, San [...] diaboli vox est quae dicit, Da peccato quod praesens est, Deo & Evan­gelio quod fu­turum est, pec­cato florem aetatis, Evan­gelio reliquias. Jo. Baren. Ex­posit. in Ep. ad Col. 1. 6. p. 40. say, Tomorrow? 2. Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of sal­vation, 2 Cor. 6. 1, 2. Hereafter may be the un-acceptable time, the day of damnation. 3. Now, God may be found, is near: hereafter God may be afar off, and may not be found, Isa. 55. 6, 7. 4. The present time is the time of mercy: God holds out to the sinner his white Flag, his golden Scepter of many precious Promises. The fu­ture time may be the time of judge­ment, and he may hold forth the red and black Flags of blood and death, Prov. 1. 24. to 32. Isa. 65. 12. and 66. 4. I [...]. 7. 13. 5. The present time is only thine. Time past is irrevoca­bly gone. Time to come may never come to thee. The rich fool, that promised himself many years, had not many hours to live; that night his soul was taken from him, Luke 12. 20. And then, if that prove thy condition, what will become of thy impenitent; hardned, unbelieving, and Christless soul?

4. Delays in this case are very dangerous. For, 1. While Repen­tance [Page 138] is delayed, iniquity is daily in­creased, and sin multiplied. Such go on still in their trespasses, Psal. 168. 21. 2. While Repentance is delayed, the heart will be daily more and more hard­ned through the deceitfulness of sin, Heb. 3. 13. 3. The more the heart is hard­ned, the more impossible it will be for the sinner to repent, Rom. 2. 5. 4. Late and long-delayed Repentance is seldom true, alwayes difficult. Unfit to day, more unfit to morrow. Qui non est bodie, [...]ras mi­nnus aptus erit. Long festering and rankling Sores are hardly cured, if curable at all. True Repentance indeed is never too late, but late Repentance is seldom true. Late Repen­ters do not so much forsake sin, as sin forsakes them. 5. While Repentance is delay'd, the sinner treasureth up unto himself the greater pile of wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgement of God, Rom. 2. 5.

5. Thy life is short; but Believing and Repenting are a great and long work. He that hath much work to do, a long journey to go, had need to neglect no time, but to be up ear­ly and doing.

For, What is thy life?Vita vapor, ventus, flatus, f [...]os, fabula, foe­num, &c. A va­nishing vapour, Iam. 4. 14. A wind that passeth, Iob. 7. 7. A blast, or puff [Page 139] of breath, Isa. 2. 22. A flower, flou­rishing and fading, Psal. 103. 15, 16. A tale told, Psal. 90. 9. Grass, now growing, now withering, Psal. 103. 15. A flood, still flowing away, never returning, Psal. 90. 5. As yesterday, when it is past, Psal. 90. 4. An hand-breadth, Psal. 39. 5. A watch in the night, but three hours long, Psal. 90. 4. A shadow, Iob 14. 2. A sleep, Psal. 90. 5. An image, or show, Psal. 39. 6. Nothing, and altogether vanity, Psal. 39. 5.

Now, Believing and Repenting are great and long works. None can be­lieve or repent, but such as are rege­nerate by the Spirit of God, Iohn 1. 12, 13. By Believing we must know Christ savingly, Isa. 53. 11. Iob. 17. 3. Must assent to Gods Record touching Christ fully, Ioh. 3. 33. 1 Ioh. 5. 11, 12. Must embrace the Promises, and accept Christ in the Promises, Heb. 11. 13. Iohn 1. 12. Must purifie the heart, Acts 15. 9. Must conquer the world, 1 Iohn 5. 4. Must quench the fiery darts of the Devil, Eph. 6. 16. And must live by it upon Christ continually, Rom. 1. 17. Gal. 2. 20. Are these easie things? Re­pentance turns from darkness to light, from the Power of Satan to God, [Page 140] Acts 26. 18. Tends continually to mortifie and crucifie sin, Rom. 8. 13. Col. 3. 5. And to perfect holiness in Gods fear, 2 Cor. 7. 1. Tit. 2. 12, 13.

6. Death is most certain, that it will come, Heb. 9. 27. Sam. 14. 14. Psal. 49. 6, 7, 8, 9. and 89. 98. Most uncer­tain when, where, or how it will come; whether in youth, man-hood, or old age; in the evening, mid­night, Cock-crowing, or day-break watch, Mark 13. 35. Therefore see­ing thou knowest not the year, day, nor hour of thy death, thou hast need to be prepared for it every day, every hour. So true is that Verse;

Mors certa est, incerta dies, hora agnita nulli;
Extremam quare quamlibet esse puta.
Joh. Ger­hard. in Hu­zin. Evangel. cap. 162. p. 226. Genevae 1645.

I may thus English it;

Frail Man; most certain is thy death,
Uncertain is the day,
None knows the hour of his last breath;
Then look for it alway.

[Page 141] In this respect Angustine'sDiem ulti­mum suum quisque salubri­cer cogitet. Mi­sericordia Dei est, quia nescit homo quando moriatur. La­tet ultimus di­es, ut observen­tur omnes dies: Aug. Homil. 13. p 441. B. Tom. 10. Basil. 1569. Advice is very good;—Let every one whole­somely think of his last day. It is Gods mercy that man knows not when he shall die. Man's last day is concealed from him, that every day may be observed by him. What Housholder is there, that being cer­tainly informed that such a week or such a night, thieves will assault his house, but at what hour is wholly un­certain, will not prepare and watch every night, lest his house be broken thorow and robbed? Or, what con­demned Malefactor, being assured that in a short time he shall certainly die, on what day he is wholly uncer­tain, but will make it his serious work to prepare for his death, that he may die penitently? And wilt no [...] thou, O sinful mortal Soul, who knowest thy death is certain, the time when uncertain, endeavour by speedy and sincere Repentance and Faith, to pre­pare for dying well?

Especially considering; That after death, this work of Repenting and Believing hath no place, no such work is to be done in the grave, Eccl. 9. 10. There, thine heart can send forth no sighs, thine eye no tears, thy tongue no confession, &c. in reference to thy sins. There, there, is no know­ledge, [Page 142] assent, or application of Faith to be exerted in reference to the Pro­mises, or Christ. But as the Tree falls, so it lyes unalterably towards Heaven or Hell. As soon as a man dies, there is a great gulf fixed, so that there's no altering of his present con­dition, from better to worse, or from worse to better. Luke 16. 26.

7. Finally, O Natural man, Re­pent now, believe in Christ now, or never. 2 Cor. 6. 1, 2. Heb. 3. 7. to 16. Isa. 55. 7. Eccl. 9. 10.

(1.) Now embrace the acceptable time, now close with the day of salvati­on, or never. 2 Cor. 6. 1, 2. For, when the acceptable time is out, when the day of salvation is ended, thou canst expect no acceptation from God any more, no salvation for evermore. Prov. 1. 24. to verse 33.

(2.) Now believe in Christ, and repent according to the tenour of the Gospel, and Ordinances of Christ, continued unto thee, Mark 1. 15. Luke 24. 47. or never. For, if the Gospel be taken from thee, or thou from the Gospel, how canst thou re­pent? How canst thou believe?

(3.) Now entertain Christs sweetest [...]nvitations and offers of Grace, with [Page 143] all affectionateness and readiness of mind; or never. Mat. 11. 28, 29, 30. Iohn 3. 15, 16, 17. and 6. 37, 38, 39, 40, 50, 51, &c. and 7. 37, 38, 39.

For, Christ will not be alwayes in­viting the obstinate, alwayes offering Grace to them that do reject it. The Guests that were bidden to the Marri­age of the Kings Son, (i. e. of Christ with the Elect) and rejected the invi­tation, were invited no more. Mat. 22. 2, 3. and 8. with Luke 14. 16. to 25.

(4.) Now open the door of thine heart unto Christ, while he stands at the door patiently, and knocks importu­nately, by his Word, by his Rod, by his Spirit, &c. Rev. 3. 20. or never. For, if Christ be still sleighted and re­pulsed, so that he being weary of standing and knocking, finally de­part, he will wait no more, he will knock no more, much less come in unto thee, and sup with thee, &c.

(5.) Now, while thou art in the land of the living, believe, repent, turn to God, work out thy salvation, &c. or never. For if Death surprize thee, if the Grave shut her mouth up­on thee, all these works will cease for ever. Eccl. 9. 10.

(6.) Now, like a wise Virgin, fur­nish [Page 144] thy Lamp of Christian Profession with the oyl of true Grace, that, when Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, shall come to the solemn marriage with his Church, thou maist go forth to meet the Bridegroom; or never. Mat. 25. 1. to 14. For if thou, like a foolish Virgin, hast thine oyl to provide when the Bridegroom shall come, They that are ready shall enter in with him, and the door will be for ever shut against thee, though thou knockest and cryest, Lord open, with the greatest importunity. Mat. 25. 10, 11, 12. Then if thou beest once shut out of Heaven, thou art shut out for ever; if once thou art cast out into Hell, thou art shut up in it for ever.

(7) Finally, Now give all possible diligence to enter in at the strait Gate, to attain eternal life by Christ, and to make thy Calling and Election sure; while thou art here on earth, while thou art in this present world under the heavenly deaws of the Gospel, Mat. 13. 44, 45, 46. Luk. 13. 24. Phil. 2. 12. 2 Pet 1. 5. to 12. be­fore thine immortal Soul be implun­ged into the intollerable and ever­lasting torments of Hell-fire, Luk. 16. 23, 24, 28. Mat. 25. 46. Or never. For if once thou art cast [Page 145] out into the Lake of Fire, there is no mercy, no mitigation of torment, no repenting, no possibility of re­concilement with God, &c. And thence is no hopes of Redemption or Recovery. Oh if the damned in Hell, could by any tears or importunities obtain liberty, though but for a few months, weeks or dayes, to be on Earth again, how diligently would they strive to enter in at the strait gate, Luk. 13. 24. How zea­lously would they attend upon the preaching of the Gospel! How religi­ously would they sanctifie the sab­bath! how devoutly would they pray! Once more offer Christ unto us; Once more touch our hearts and Consciences; Once more en­lighten us, let us partake of the Ho­ly Ghost, taste the good word of God, and the Powers of the world to come. Heb. 6. 4, 5. Once more open the gate of mercy, &c. How deep­ly with sighs and tears would they lament their sins day and night. How would they endeavour to be­lieve in Christ, repent and obey, yea to do or suffer any thing, that they might come no more into that place of torment. But all such hopes are for ever dasht. They had their time [Page 146] and season for all these things, which they neglected and lost, and now shall never enjoy more, so long as Heaven is Heaven, and Hell Hell.

O that all these things could be seriously thought upon, before it be too late! But when must it be? NOW or NEVER.

XX. Direction.

UPon the sincere closing with Christ, accepting and applying him to thy self as thine only Savi­our and Redeemer, what fullness of all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ, will be heaped u­pon thy Soul. Eph. 1. 1, 3, 4. &c.

What tongue can utter them; What heart of man can comprehend them? 1 Cor. 2. 9, 10. Be thou careful to walk worthy of them continually. Eph. 4. 1. Col. 2. 6, 7.

1. What heavenly Relations are presently vouchsafed to thee. Thou art a fellow-citizen with the Saints, and of the houshold of God. Eph. 2. 19. and they all thy brethren and sisters in Christ, 1 Pet. 2. 17. God is thy Father, and thou his Child, 2 Cor. [Page 147] 6. 18. Ioh. 20. 17. Christ is thine el­der brother and not ashamed to call thee one of his brethren, Rom. 8. 29. Heb. 2. 10, 11. Christ thine head, and thou his member, 1 Cor. 6. 15. Eph. 4. 15, 16. Christ thine Husband, and thou his Spouse, 2 Cor. 11. 3. Christ thy Redeemer and Saviour, and thou his redeemed and saved, Heb. 9. 12. Luke 2. 10, 11. The Holy Ghost is thine Inhabitant, and thou his Temple and Habitation, 1 Cor. 6. 19. and 3. 16, 17. Ephes. 2. 21, 22. Therefore be thou holy in all man­ner of Christian conversation, 1 Pet. 1. 14. to 18.

2. What great and precious Pro­mises are thereupon given thee? 2 Pet. 1. 3, 4. Promises; 1. Of the life that now is; 2. Of the life to come; and what Promises canst thou desire more? 1 Tim. 4. 8. Now Gods Promises are not like mans Promises, yea and nay, off and on, sometimes performed, sometimes vi­olated, &c. but they are all Yea and Amen in Christ, 2 Cor. 1. 20. alto­gether immu [...]able, it being impossi­ble that therein the God of truth should lye, Tit. 1. 2. Heb. 6. 18. Having then these Promises, cleanse thy self from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, [Page 148] perfecting holiness in the fear of God, 2 Cor. 7. 1.

3. What a cluster of soul-beautify­ing Graces are immediately toge­ther with Faith in Christ, instilled and infused into thy soul! Faith is the Captain and leading Grace, all the rest follow. 2 Pet. 1. 5, 6, &c. These are the Divine Nature, and Image of God, whereby the Believer resembles the heavenly Father, 2 Pet. 1. 4. Eph. 4. 24. Col. 3. 11. These make the Kings Daughter all glorious within, so that her clothing is of wrought gold, Psal. 45. 13. These make the Church beautiful, even to the ra­vishment of Christ, Cant. 7. 1. to 10. and 4. 1. throughout. Labour thou to abound and grow in these Gra­ces continually, 2 Pet. 1. 8. and 3. 18. And as he that hath called thee is holy, so to be holy in all man­ner of conversation, 1 Pet. 1. 14, 15, 16.

4. What eminent Priviledges are upon thine accepting of Christ, heaped upon thee [...] 1. Thou art e­ternally redeemed from all thy spi­ritual bondage under sin, Satan, &c. under which thou wast en­thralled, Heb. 9. 12. Gal. 4. 4. 1 Thes. 1. 10. Gal. 3. 13, 14. 2. Thou [Page 149] art reconciled unto God, who wast formerly at enmity with him, Rom. 5. 10. 3. Thou art justified freely through his Grace, thy sins being pardoned fully through the blood of Christ, and thou art so justified and accepted of God, that thou art be­come the Righteousness of God in him, Rom. 3. 24, 25. Eph. 1. 7. 2 Cor. 5. 19, 21. 4. Thou art adopted into Gods Family, and art become one of the Houshold of God, and so art made an heir of God, a joynt-heir with Christ, Gal. 4. 4, 5, 6. Eph. 2. 19. Rom. 8. 15, 16, 17. 5. Thou hast access with filial boldness, by the Spirit unto the Father, and maist confidently cry, Abba Father, Eph. 2. 18. Rom. 8. 15. 6. Thou art brought into sweet communion with God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which is even the Saints [...]eaven on earth, 1 Ioh. 1. 3. 2 Cor. 13. 14. 7. Thou hast a Treasury and Foun­tain of all true Comfort bestowed upon thee, the Holy Ghost the Com­forter dwelling in thine heart, 2 Cor. 1. 3. 4, 5. Iohn 14. 16. 8. Thou hast in Christ a new and most ex­cellent Title to all the good things of this present life, 1 Tim. 4. 8. Matth. 6. 33. 1 Cor. 3. 20, 21. [Page 150] 9. Thou art assured, that all things, even the worst of afflictions and persecutions, shall work together for thy good, for thy best, Rom. 8. 28. 10. And finally, Thou hast well-grounded hopes of eternal Happi­ness in Heaven, when this life shall be no more, in the immediate vision and fruition of God in Christ face to face, which is far best of all, 1 Pet. 1. 3, 4. 2 Cor. 5. 1, 2, &c. Rom. 5. 1, 2. Ioh. 17. 24. Phil. 1. 23.

And therefore give all diligence to walk worthy of all these blessed Priviledges. Enthral not thy self again in the yoke of any spiritual bondage. Provoke not God unto enmity by thy renewed sins. Blot not, blur not the evidence of thy sins pardon by lapses and falls a­gainst thy Conscience. Behave thy self towards thy God and all his Children, as one of the Houshold of Faith. Restrain not Prayer, but pray continually, with groans that can­not be uttered, by the assistance of the Spirit. Have no fellowship at all with Sin and Satan, nor any need­less fellowship with any workers of iniquity, Eph. 5. 11. Psal. 1. 1. and 26. 4, 5. Psal. 119. 115. Walk [Page 151] not disconsolately and dejectedly, but in the fear of the Lord, and in the comforts of the Holy Ghost, Acts 9. 31. Be abundantly contented in all conditions allotted thee by God. Fully expect good by the worst of afflictions that may be­fall thee; and be ever carefull to keep thy Hopes and Evidences for Heaven firm and clear, that when thou comest to die, thou maist lift up thine head, and triumph that thy Redemption and celestial Coronation with Christ draweth nigh.

XXI. Direction.

WRastle also most vlgorously, (O thou that wast Natu­ral, but art spiritualized, wast dead, but art alive again) against all thy sins, spiritual enemies, and their temptations, Heb. 12. 4. Col. 3. 5. to 12. Eph. 6. 11. to 19. for all time to come, that they may none of them in the least measure eclipse any of these thy spiritual Privi­ledges , or embitter any other thy sweet enjoyments.

Holy David, by his lapses, brought many deep wounds and scarrs up­on his Conscience, Psal. 51. 3, 8. some of which he probably carri­ed to his Grave. Loving and confident Peter, by his triple de­nial of his Lord and Master Christ, purchased to himself a torrent of bitter tears, Mat. 26. 75. The Ephesian Angel, by leaving his first love and first works, was so offensive thereby to Christ, that he threatned the removal of his Candlestick, Revel. 2. 4, 5. The Church her self by her carnal [Page 153] sluggishness and security, lost her sweet Communion with Christ for a season, and was involved in deep spiritual distress, Cant. 5. 2. to 9. Be thou warned by their examples, which are written for thine admonition, lest through thy spiritual oscitancy and slug­gishness, thou bring upon thy self like spiritual calamities, and so far wound thy Conscience, as to go bleeding to thy Grave.

XXII. Direction.

EXpress upon all good occasi­ons, all possible tenderness of heart, and bowels of compassion, towards those that yet remain in the first Adam, in their sinful state of Nature, unrege [...]erate, e­specially towards thy kindred ac­cording to the flesh, using all good endeavours to convince, convert, and gain them to Christ, that they, as well as thy self, may be eternally saved. Luke 22. 32. Rom. 10. 1. and 9. 1, 2, 3. Acts 9. 20, with 1 Cor. 9. 19. to 23.


1. Even thou thy self wast some­times foolish, disobedient, serving di­vers lusts and pleasures, living in ma­lice and envy, hateful, and hating o­thers, Tit. 3. 3. An enemy to God by wicked works, Col. 1. 21. Yea, dead in sins and trespasses, &c.— and a child of wrath, as well as they. or any of them, Eph. 2. 1, 2, 3. But God, who is rich in mer­cy, hath saved thee by the washing of Regeneration, and renewing of the Ho­ly [Page 155] Ghost, Tit. 3. 4, 5, 6, 7. Hast thou then experimentally felt the Wormwood and the Gall of thy Natural state of sin and misery? And dost thou not commiserate such poor souls, as are still in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniqui­ty? Acts 8. 23. Hast thou had the sweet experience of the rich­es of Gods free-Grace and Love, in restoring thee from death to life, from thy Natural state of sin and misery, into a supernatural state of sanctity and felicity? And do not thy bowels yearn within thee after other lost souls, espe­cially those of thy kindred, that they also may be turned from dark­ness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God? Acts 26. 18.

2. Are not their souls, as well as thine own, very precious? O, Consider, 1. Their immortal Con­stitution, which no Creature can kill or destroy, Matth. 10. 28. 2. The invaluable price paid for their Restitution, even the most pre­cious blood and death of Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, 1 Tim. 2. 5, 6. 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19. 3. The incomparable and transcen­dent value which the wisdome of [Page 156] God himself puts upon the soul; as being of far more worth then the whole world, Matth. 16. 26. And then think with thy self; Shall not I endeavour to hinder the eternal loss, and to promote the eternal salvation, of such preci­ous souls?

3. What advantage will redound in sundry respects, if God bless thine endeavours, to the convin­cing and converting of their souls to Christ! For, Hereby 1. Thou shalt save a soul from death, Jam. 5. 19, 20. And what a great, what a glorious work is it, to have an hand in saving a soul from death [...] 2. Thou shalt hide a multitude of sins, Jam. 5. 19, 20. Even an heap, a sink, a dunghil of hundreds and thousands of sins, thou shalt hide from the revenging eye of God, by Christs righteousness, 2 Cor. 5. 20, 21. 3. Thou shalt occasion great joy in Heaven, among the bles­sed Angels of God, who exceeding­ly rejoyce at the Conversion of sinners, Luke 15. 7, 10, 22, 23. 4. Finally, Thou shalt hereby not a little further thine own eternal fe­licity, Deut. 12. 3.

Thou therefore commiserate thy [Page 157] Brethren in their sinful and wretch­ed state of Nature, as thy God hath in thy like condition had compassion on thee. Canst thou lend an hand to pluck a Beast out of the mire, or a Sheep out of a pit; and wilt thou not lend an hand to help poor lost souls out of the mire of sin, snares of Sa­tan, and pit of eternal destructi­on? O, warn them, convince them, counsel them, exhort them, rebuke them, lament them, pray for them, weep over them, do any good for them, that thou maist by any means gain and save their souls.

XXIII. Direction.

YIeld, with all enlarged thankful­ness, all possible Praise, Love, and Obedience, unto God, and unto the Lamb; who hath loved thee of the riches of his free-Grace before the world began, who in fulness of time hath ran­somed thee by the invaluable price of his death, and in due time hath washed th [...]e from thy sins in his own blood, a [...]d in the Laver of Regeneration, by the re­newing of the Holy Ghost. Eph. 1. 3, 4, 5, 6. 1 Iohn 4. 19.—Gal. 4. 4, 5. 1 Tim. 1. 15. and 2. 5, 6. 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19, 20▪—Rev. 1. 5. Tit. 3. 4, 5, 6, 7. For,

1. Thou oughtest to be thankful for all Gods blessings of all sorts, the least of them being beyond, yea contrary to, thy deserts, Eph. 5. 20. Col. 3. 17. 1 Thes. 5. 18. with Gen. 32. 10. but especially for those choicest spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ, Eph. 1. 3. Psal. 103 1, 2, 3.

2. The reality and sincerity of thy thankfulness, will inwardly best ap­prove it self, in thy cordial affection and un [...]eigned love towards thy graci­ous [Page 159] God and Jesus Christ, for all his love, and all the fruits of his love in Christ. Kindness begets thankfulness, and love breeds love, as fire begets fire, 1 Iob. 4. 19. Thus, when the Psalmist would signifie his great thank­fulness to God for his great mercies, he professeth his dearest love to God; [...], I will love thee dearly, [Heb. I will love thee with inmost bowels] O LORD my strength, &c. Psal. 18. 1, 2, &c. So Psal. 116. 1. [...], I have loved, because the LORD hath heard my voice, &c.

3. The integrity of true love and thankfulness, doth outwardly best dis­cover it self in a chearful and sincere obedience to God and Christ, Iob. 14. 15, 21. 1 Ioh. 5. 3. Such obedience is a real retribution of thankfulness, Psal. 116. 12. to the end. Then we praise God aright, when we extol him, not only with our hearts and lips, but with our lives.

XXIV. Direction.

ZEalously endeavour to promote the Glory of God, and of Iesus Christ, in all things, throughout the whole course of thy life; and to be where Christ is, to behold his Glory, that so thine inchoate happiness may be com­pleatly consummate, in the immediate vision, and full fruition of God in Christ unto all eternity. 1 Cor. 10. 31. and 6. 20. 1 Pet. 4. 11. 2 Thes. 1. 12. —Ioh. 17. 24. Mat. 5. 8. 1 Thes. 4. 17. Rev. 22. 3, 4, 5. For,

1. Gods Glory, and the Souls fe­licity in the full enjoyment of God in Christ unto all eternity, are the two principal Ends of all, which thou, and every man, should chiefly intend and aim at in his whole life, 1 Cor. 10. 31. Rom. 11 36. Psal. 73. 24. to the end: God [...] made all things for his glory Pro. 16. 4. And all things ought to be levelled to his Glory. Man is made capable of God. and therefore he is restless till he can fully center in God, in whom alone in Christ all his happiness is treasured up. Augustine said sweet­ly [Page 61] —Feei [...]ti nos [...]d te: & inquietum est Cor nostrum, d [...]nec requies­cat in te. Aug. Conf, lib. 1. c. 1. Tom. 1.;—Thou hast made us for thee; And our heart is unquiet till it rest in thee. As the Needle once touched with the loadstone, is unquiet till it come to the Magnetick Center, and point towards the Pole.

2. Thou, that wast dead in sin, and a child of wrath, but art quickened by God and made a child of Grace, of the riches of his Grace. Eph. 2. 1. 5, 6, 7. Canst never do enough for this God, and for his glory▪ And therefore he hath provided hea­ven for his people wherein they may glorifie him eternally. Yet while thou art on earth, glorifie him to the uttermost in thy momentany life, for thy Redemption, Reconciliati­on, Vocation, Sanctification, Ju­stification and hopes of Salvation: So shalt thou by this heavenly im­ployment begin Heaven on Earth and pr [...]posses [...] thyself of Para­dise.

3. If a little taste, a short glimpse of Gods favour in Christ, breaking thorough the thick clonds of thy ma­nifold frailties here on earth, be so sweet, as to transcend incompara­bly all subl [...]nary enjoyments, Psal, 4. 6, 7. Cant. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7: Then how sweet, how delicious, how [Page 162] ravishing will be the full Sun-shine of his Love unto thy Soul in Heaven for ever when all imperfections and infirmities shall be totally and finally done away, Eph. 5. 27. Act. 3. 19. Rev. 21. 4. and 22. 3. To haev Communion with Christ in this world by Grace, is a blessed Pri­viledge Ioh. 1. 3. Eph. 1. 3. But to be with Christ in Paradise and to have Communion with him in glory is [...] by much more better. How elegantly! Here being, as it were, 3 Comparatives. Phil. 1. 23. viz. To be with Christ is far the best of all. Herein our Blessed Saviour himself placeth the height of his peoples eternal felicity, That they may be where he is, to behold his glory, Ioh. 17. 24. That will be an immediate vision: Not as now through a glass darkly, but face to face clearly 1 Cor. 13. 12. That will be a perfect Vision: For we shall see him as he is, 1 Joh. 3. 2. and know even as also we are known, 1 Cor. 13. 10, 12. That will be a glorious Visi­on: we shall behold Christs Glory, which is infinitely beyond all Celestial, Angeli­cal, or Created Glory, Ioh. 17. 24. That will be a transforming Vision: for, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is, 1 Joh. 3. 2. Phil. 3. 21. That will be a Beatifical Vision: for the chief blessed­ness Christ placeth in seeing God, Mat. [Page 163] 5. 8. That will be a Vision with fruiti­on: we shall so see Christ, as fully to enjoy him, as our Head, as our Hus­band, as our Redeemer, as our Happi­ness, as our Treasure, as our Glory, as our All. That will be an eternal Vision and fruition: for, so we shall be ever with the LORD, 1 Thes. 4. 17. There we shall (said Augustine)Ibi vacabimus & videbimus; videbimus & amabimus; amabimus & la [...]dabimus. Ecce quod erit in fine, sine fine. Aug. de Civit. Dei, l. 22. cap. 30. sub finem. Tom. 5. rest and see; we shall see and love; we shall love and laud. Lo what shall be in the end, without end. This will be the very Heaven of Heaven, and Glory of Glory. Unto this eternal Bliss, the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, bring him that writeth these things, and him that readeth them with an honest heart, in his due time. Amen, and Amen.

Sept. 18. 1669. FINIS.

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